Skip to main content

Full text of "A practical guide to prefabricated houses"

See other formats

Digitized by 



www.apti.or g 



From the collection of: 
Jim Draeger 


A Practical Guide To 


A Practical Guide to 

By A. L. CARR 



New York and London 


Copyright, 1947, by Ante Lee Carr 
Printed in the United States of America 
All rights in this book reserved. ■ 

No part of the book may be reproduced in anv manner 
whatsoever without written permission except in the case of 
brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. 
For information address Harper & Brothers 


Partner in all mv worth-while endeavors 


Part /—The Prefabrication Industry As a Whole 
Building Methods from Noah Till Now 3 
What Do You Mean- 'Prefabricated"? 5 
The History of Prefabrication 8 
The Advantages of Prefabrication 1 1 

Less expensive 

Better construction 

Better design and plan 

Speed in construction 


Problems Which Confront Prefabrication 14 
Opposition of the building industry 
Antiquated building codes 
Transportation costs 

Merchandising— The Final Hurdle 15 
Part II— Prefabricators and Their Houses 

American Homes 


Anchorage Homes 

2 3 

Ford Factory-Built Homes 

2 7 

General Homes 

3 1 

Green's Laurel Homes 


Green's Solar Homes 


Gunnison Homes 


Harnischfeger Homes 


Hayes Econocrete Homes 

5 1 

Hodgson Homes 


Horsley Homes 


Johnson Homes 


Lc Tourncau Homes 


Lewis Homes 

7 1 

Lincoln Homes 


National Homes 





Pcaseway Homes 83 

Precision Homes 87 

Prenco Homes 91 

Raleigh Mastercraft Homes 95 

Wingfoot Homes 99 

Directory of American Prefabricators - 103 

Checklist of Things to Look for in Buying a House 109 

Part I 


Building Methods from Noah Till Now 

CENTURIES have passed since Noah 
and his three sons felled the cypress 
trees, hewed them into planks and timbers, 
whittled out innumerable pegs and under- 
took the slow and laborious task of con- 
structing the Ark. Our mass production 
age has little in common with the age of 
Noah. We wear mass produced clothes, eat 
mass produced foods, drive mass produced 
automobiles, but, when it comes to the 
construction of homes, we are back to 
Noah again. It is true that building ma- 
terials have changed. Nails have displaced 
wooden pegs, the lumber yard supplies 
smooth surfaced joists or siding in uniform 
lengths, and science and industry have con- 
tributed a myriad of new materials. Our 
methods of construction, however, remain 
antiquated and uneconomical. Thousands 
of pieces of lumber in comparatively small 
sizes are brought to the place of construc- 
tion and here each piece is carefully meas- 
ured, cut, fitted and nailed by hand in ap- 
proximately the same way these operations 
have been performed for centuries. We 
mix mortar and lay bricks one at a time 
just as the ancient Egyptians did. Noah 
might feel strangely out of place amid mod- 
ern materials, but he would be quite at 
home among the building methods we 

Suppose we built automobiles by the 

same handicraft methods we employ in 
building houses. Three results are obvious, 
and each is undesirable. First, we could not 
obtain our new automobiles as quickly as 
under mass production methods. It would 
be necessary to employ an engineer to draw 
up plans, and we would have to consult 
with him concerning the body design, the 
type of engine, and the upholstery. A con- 
tractor would have to be employed and 
he, in turn, would employ subcontractors 
to take over portions of the job. The ma- 
terials would have to be selected, ordered 
from various sources and then assembled. 
Instead of walking into a dealer's show- 
room, writing out a check and driving out 
with a new car, we would have to wait for 
weeks and perhaps months for completion 
of our custom-built car. Secondly, an auto- 
mobile so designed and constructed would 
not be as good a car as one rolling off a 
factory production line. Materials ordered 
from various sources would not have stand- 
ardized design or uniform measurements, 
and parts would probably require substan- 
tial alteration in order to be fitted together 
at all. Thirdly, a hand-built car would be 
too expensive for most people who now ■ 
own automobiles. Alfred P. Sloan, Chair- 
man of the Board of General Motors Cor- 
poration, stated that a hand-made Chevro- 
let would cost not less than $5,000, and 


A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses 

would be a poorer car than factory-built 
models. Thus if we built automobiles as we 
build houses, we could expect to have fewer 
cars, poorer cars and more expensive cars, 
These results are realities in the housing 
field. Fully half of our population has never 
been housed, in the real meaning of the 
term, but has lived in obsolete housing dis- 
carded by the higher income groups. Six 
million families have no running water and 
ten million have no bathrooms. These fam- 
ilies want new, modern homes, but the 
high cost of housing constructed by hand 
has placed it out of their reach. Income 
studies show that in 1939 about 85 per cent 
of American families had annual incomes 
of $2,500 or less. According to recognized 
standards, these families should pay no 
more than twice their annual income (that 
is, $5,000 or less ) for a home, yet practically 
all of the private home building in the past 
twenty-five years has been of houses selling 
for considerably more than $5,000. By 
1940, a deficit of two million homes already 
existed. The accumulated obsolescence of 
old dwellings during five years of war has 
increased that deficit by an additional 
1,500,000 homes. Hundreds of thousands 
of veterans and transplanted war workers 
are returning to find that there are no suit- 
able living accommodations for their fam- 

ilies. The means of supplying millions of 
comfortable, modern homes quickly and at 
prices which most people can afford is one 
of the principal present-day problems. 

Fortunately, we are not wholly depend- 
ent.upon the hand saw and hammer meth- 
ods of construction in this emergency. In 
recent years a revolution has been taking 
place in the building industry. Far-seeing 
individuals and companies have attempted 
to bring a delinquent construction system 
into step with the mass production age and 
to construct houses in the same manner we 
build furniture or automobiles. 

If you want a new house, you may now 
go to a number of companies and select 
from scores of plans and designs the type of 
home you desire. It may be Cape Cod, 
Colonial or modern in design, it may have 
one bedroom or four as you choose, but in 
the construction, it will be an altogether 
new kind of house. The men who come to 
erect it will come without chisels, mitre 
boxes and saws. They will have the job 
completed in less than a week. There will 
be no unhappy piles of waste lumber, no 
trash to haul away. You can move in with- 
out delay when the workmen leave. To 
your admiring friends you can say, "It's 

What Do You Mean —"Prefabricated"? 

It has been said, and with much justifica- 
tion, that prefabrication is ' 'all things to all 
people/' To some it means a completed 
house with each light bulb attached in its 
socket, rolling off the production line. To 
others it signifies no more than factory- 
built door and window units ready for 
installation in traditionally-built homes. 
While it is next to impossible to obtain a 
definition inclusive enough to encompass 
the various types and degrees of prefabrica- 
tion, it is not difficult to assay the general 
purpose of the prefabrication industry. It 
proposes to apply the most up-to-date in- 
dustrial principles of mass production to 
the realm of home construction. Instead of 
cutting and fitting on the site each of the 
many small units that go into a home, it 
would employ machinery in an orderly pro- 
duction line to perform these operations 
more quickly, accurately and cheaply. In 
varying degrees simplified construction is 
sought by increasing the proportion of 
work to be done before erection. There 
are five principal methods of prefabrica- 
tion now being practiced throughout the 

PRE-cuT-Every piece measured, cut and marked 
for easy erection. 

(1) Pre-Cut Method. A pre-cut house 
differs from the traditionally-built house in 
only one important respect— all the meas- 
uring and sawing is done at the factory. The 
prospective buyer selects a plan from many 
diversified styles displayed in a catalogue or 
showroom. Within a week or two there is 

delivered at the building site all of the ma- 
terial which goes into the construction of 
his home, each piece having been carefully 
cut to the right size and numbered for iden- 
tification. These are then assembled by 
local workmen or, perhaps, by the owner 
himself if he is proficient with a hammer. 
The plumbing, electrical and heating sys- 
tems are installed in the course of erection 
exactly as in the traditionally-built home. 

PANELS-Materials cut and fabricated into com- 
plete panels with doors, windows, and insulation 

(2) Panel Method. This type of con- 
struction carries factory operations a step 
further than the pre-cut system. After the 
materials have been cut to the proper size 
and shape, they are not then shipped to the 
site (as in the case of pre-cut homes), but 
are moved to another part of the factory 
where they are assembled into large wall, 
floor, ceiling and roof sections. Each sec- 
tion is a solid unit and may be as large as 8 
feet high by 21 feet long. The panels pro- 
duced by some companies consist merely 
of the framing studs and plates nailed to- 
gether and attached to the exterior sheath- 
ing. If this is all the work that is performed 
at the factory, it saves only a little more 
time at the site than does the pre-cut meth- 
od. It is still necessary to apply siding, shin- 
gles, or some other finish to the exterior, 
and lath and plaster or wall-boarding on 
the interior after the panels are delivered 
at the place of construction. Most com- 
panies, however, complete both the inte- 


A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses 

rior and exterior of the panels at the fac- 
tory so that they need only to be joined 
together at the site. 

A further development of the panel sys- 
tem is the standardized or modular panels 
used by several concerns. By this method 
all wall panels, whether they contain win- 
dows, doors, or blank wall, are the same 
size. Thus a company can offer many dif- 
ferent plans and designs of homes by sim- 
ply changing the number or arrangement 
of the panels used. These panels are usually 
4 feet by 8 feet in size, although some com- 
■ panies employ other sizes. The wall panels 
are solidly constructed with the interior 
and exterior surfaces permanently bonded 
to wood or steel frames with the latest 
plastic materials. All panels are completely 
insulated. The door and window sections 
are equipped with frames, doors, windows, 
hardware and screens at the factory. The 
panels, equipment and parts for a complete 
home are shipped by truck or rail to the 
owner's site, where the panels are set up 
and locked to each other and to the foun- 
dation with invisible steel connectors. This 
type of prefabricated home ordinarily 
comes complete with all necessary plumb- 
ing, lighting and heating installations, and 
sometimes is furnished with electric re- 
frigerator, stove and washing machine. 

SECTioNS-The entire house assembled by factory 
experts into a few easily joined, truckable units. 

(3) Sectional Method. By this system 
the factory produces complete sections of 
houses, rather than flat panels to be joined 
together at the site. A cottage 30 feet in 

length by 24 feet in width, for example, 
might be produced in four sections 7V2 
feet wide by 24 feet long by 9V2 feet high. 
Each section would contain one complete 
portion of the building: floors, walls, ceil- 
ing and roof with the plumbing and light- 
ing equipment, bathroom and kitchen fix- 
tures, heating facilities, windows, doors, 
screens, cabinets, even the clothes hooks 
in the closets and the towel racks in the 
bathroom installed at the factory. Spe- 
cial cranes lift each section on to large 
truck trailers at the factory and again from 
the trailer to the foundation at the site. 
Such a sectional house may be trucked hun- 
dreds of miles from factory to foundation 
and be completely erected on the site in 
less than a day's time. 

Complete assembly — Smaller homes are some- 
times wholly constructed at the factory and de- 
livered ready for occupancy. 

(4) Complete Assembly Method. This 
type of prefabrication is exactly what its 
name implies — a system by which the 
home is entirely built and outfitted at the 
factory. The real problem encountered by 
this method is the difficulty of transport- 
ing the home from factory to site. Either 
the house must be quite small and com- 
pact in order to permit hauling for some 
distance, or, if it is larger, it must be used 
in the immediate vicinity of the factory. 
As a result of these transportation difficul- 
ties, this type of prefabrication is, and will 
probably remain, very limited. 

( 5 ) Cast Concrete Methods. Mention 
must also be made of certain methods re- 

A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses 


Concrete— New lightweight, insulated concrete 
can be formed into large building panels or com- 
plete house units. 

lating to the use of concrete, which, al- 
though not widely employed in the past, 
now show promise of commercial devel- 
opment. In general two principal methods 

have been utilized, although countless vari- 
ations of these methods have been intro- 
duced. The first is the precasting of the 
concrete into large floor, wall, ceiling and 
roof panels which are then transported to 
the site and swung into place by a movable 
crane. The units are usually hollow cored 
for lightness and insulation, and the walls 
are dressed up with decorative indenta- 
tions, lines or friezes so that little finishing 
is required. 

By the second method elaborate molds 
are transported to the site and into these 
quick-drying concrete is poured so as to 
form a complete house in one operation. 
The molds can then be removed, trans- 
ported to a new site and the operation re- 

The History of Prefabrication 

The idea of prefinishing or prefabricating 
a house is not new. More than half a cen- 
tury ago a few companies began to pre-cut 
lumber to the exact size and shape required 
by local contractors. In time basic house 
plans were developed and all the items 
used in the construction of such a house, 
from pre-cut rafters and beams down to 
the. front door key, were offered for sale 
as a 'package" or "unit/' Large mail-order 
firms took up the distribution of pre-cut 
homes and this type of prefabrication has 
become widely known as the "mail-order 

At about the same time that the pre-cut 
method was developing, the early antece- 
dents of the panel type of prefabrication 
were being introduced. The operations of 
one of the first companies to enter this 
field date back as far as 1892. The early 
manufacturers of this type of factory con- 
struction confined their production, for the 
most part, to smaller structures such as 
chicken houses, vacation cottages and chil- 
dren's play houses. Later they undertook 
the production of garages and larger dwell- 
ings, but it was not until the introduction 
of the sheet materials, such as plywood, 
fiberboard, plaster and gypsum board that 
the panel method of prefabrication devel- 
oped into its present form. 

Shortly after the beginning of the pres- 
ent century, a number of experimenters 
attempted to apply industrial techniques 
to the construction of concrete houses. The 
inventor, Thomas A. Edison, was one of 
these. In 1908 he patented a method for 
casting in place a one, two or even three 
story house in a single operation. Cast-iron 
or wooden forms were to be assembled 
and bolted together on the foundation to 
the entire height of the house and then 
concrete was to be carried from the mixer 
by a mechanical conveyor to funnels at 
the top of the form. Because of Edison's 
prominence, his experiments attracted 
wide attention, but they proved impracti- 
cal and were soon abandoned. 

The experiments of the able architect, 
Grosvenor Atterbury, although they at- 
tracted less attention than those of Edison, 
were much more successful. The Atterbury 
system employed hollow-cored, precast 
concrete panels for walls, floors and roofs 
which were molded at the factory, hauled 
to the site and then swung into place by 
large cranes. Between 1913 and 1918, this 
system was extensively employed in the 
erection of the Russell Sage Foundation 
low cost housing development in Forest 
Hills, Long Island, and produced houses 
which were attractive, durable and livable. 
However, since the precast units were 
heavy to transport and difficult to put 
in place and a large investment was neces- 
sary in plant and equipment, the system 
fell into disuse except for large-scale build 
ing developments. 

With the exception of a brief flurry of 
construction of emergency housing and 
barracks during the First World War, little 
of interest occurred with respect to pre- 
fabrication methods until the late 1920's 
and the early 19 30^. Then four wholly 
unrelated events caused the prefabrication 
movement to spring to life and to turn 
into new avenues of expression. 

The first of these was the stimulus of 
new ideas. A number of prominent archi- 
tects and designers attracted wide atten- 
tion by proposing radical new designs for 
the house of the future. Perhaps the most 
revolutionary of these new designs was the 
"Dymaxion House," an eight-sided struc- 
ture suspended in mid-air from a large cen- 
tral core, which was introduced in 1927 by 
Buckminster Fuller. In the projected Dy- 
maxion House, one could drive his car 
into the shelter area beneath the first floor, 
step into the elevator in the central core 
and be carried to the first floor living area, 
containing living and dining room, kitch- 
en, laundry, bedrooms and baths, or to the 
top or roof deck intended as an outdoor 
recreation area. All the utility services- 
plumbing, heating, air conditioning, laun- 

A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses 


dry— were to be built into the central core. 
In daytime the house was to be lighted via 
translucent and transparent plastic walls 
and at night by carefully planned, built-in 
indirect lighting. Fuller estimated that 
such a house fully equipped (even to non- 
slamming pneumatic doors and a televi- 
sion unit) would cost only $3,000 if full- 
scale mass production were adopted. Other 
houses of the future designed by such 
well-known architects as Richard Neutra 
and George Fred Keck, though somewhat 
less abrupt in their departure from tradi- 
tional designs, were equally stimulating to 
thought and discussion, and the daily 
newspapers and periodicals gave wide pub- 
licity to the emergence of these new ideas 
and designs. 

A second factor which gave impetus to 
the prefabrication movement was the in- 
troduction of sheet materials. As long as 
traditional materials such as sheathing, 
siding and lath were employed, the assem- 
bly of a house, even under factory condi- 
tions, was bound to be slow and laborious. 
However, when new materials like ply- 
wood or wallboard became available in 
large thin sheets, the nailing in place of 
hundreds of pieces of lath and numerous 
narrow pieces of sheathing or siding be- 
came unnecessary. By new bonding meth- 
ods, appropriate sheet materials and fram- 
ing could be welded together with phenol- 
ic resin under heat and pressure into a 
strong laminated structural panel. Many 
new systems of prefabrication were devel- 
oped in the 1930's based upon the use of 
wall and fiber boards in 4 by 8 feet sizes, 
and these materials have now been in- 
creased in dimensions, so as to be available 
in the sizes required for the entire side of 
a room or wall. 

A third factor was the enormous quan- 
tity of research and experimentation con- 
ducted by non-commercial as well as com- 
mercial organizations. The Pierce Founda- 
tion Housing Research Division created in 
1931, the Purdue Research Foundation 
Housing Project organized in 1935 and the 

Sheet materials have simplified the manufacture 
of house panels. 

Bemis Foundation established in 1938 are 
three endowed agencies which have pio- 
neered with various types of construction, 
studied and tested structural materials and 
methods ' and continually influenced the 
prefabrication movement. Agencies of the 
federal government, such as the Forest 
Products Laboratory, the Bureau of Stand- 
ards, the Farm Security Administration 
and the T.V.A., made tests and set up 
standards for structural methods, materials 
and equipment and have undertaken to 
develop and erect low cost housing em- 
bodying materials and methods thus tested 
and approved. The F.S.A. constructed 
whole communities of low cost homes for 
sharecroppers and dust bowl evacuees. 
T.V.A., in order to provide temporary 
housing for construction workers on dams 
and power facilities, developed a house in 
truckable sections which was built and as- 
sembled at the factory, hauled to the site 
in large sections and then quickly joined 
together. The first units built by T.V.A. 
were moved over rough roads as far as 80 
miles from the plant and proved a com- 
plete success. Later full-sized houses were 
constructed by this sectional method and 
a number of companies throughout the 
country were licensed to employ the 
T.V.a' system. 

The fourth factor which gave impetus 
to the prefabrication movement was the 
depression which began in 1929. When 
hard times came, there were many who re- 


A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses 

called the prediction that new and modern 
homes could be supplied by mass produc- 
tion methods for as little as $3,000. Raw 
material producers viewed prefabrication 
as a potential market to bolster up declin- 
ing sales for steel, plywood and equipment. 
For a time it seemed that prefabrication 
would be the promising new industry 
which might pull America out of econom- 
ic morass. Individual companies, such as 
American Rolling Mills, United States 
Steel and Republic Steel 7 set up subsidi- 
aries to use steel in the manufacture of 
prefabricated houses. Equipment manu- 
facturers, such as Harnischfeger Corpora- 
tion and Hobart Brothers, began to pro- 
duce housing by factory methods employ- 
ing their machinery. Manufacturers of in- 
sulating board, such as Celotex Corpora- 
tion and Homasote Company, set up hous- 
ing companies to push the use of their 
materials. In addition, scores of new con- 
cerns entered the field and tried their hand 
at one or more types of prefabricated 
homes. Many of today's well-known pre- 
fabricators— American Houses, Gunnison 
Housing Corporation, General Houses and 
others— were organized during this period. 

Despite all the enthusiasm and the bally- 
hoo, prefabrication failed to burst forth as 
a major industry during the depression era. 
There were numerous reasons for this fail- 
ure. The low prices suggested by Fuller 
and others were predicated on the assump- 
tion of large-scale mass production meth- 
ods, and houses proved far more costlv 
when small-scale operations were at- 

tempted. The purchasing volume of small 
plants was too limited to affect the savings 
in cost of raw materials possible in mass 
buying. Many of the smaller concerns were 
inadequately financed and could not sur- 
vive long periods of experimentation. Mar- 
keting facilities had not been worked out 
and insufficient assistance and guidance in 
erection were afforded to the purchaser. 
Consequently, a large part of the public 
lost interest in prefabrication and the pre- 
fabrication industry entered upon a period 
of lean years. These years were spent by 
many of the surviving companies in re- 
engineering and redesigning their basic 
house plans and in engineering their plants 
for efficiency and speed. Merchandising 
systems were improved and simpler erec- 
tion methods devised. And finally, they be- 
gan to sell their houses, not on the basis 
of publicity and ballyhoo in the Sunday 
supplements, but on appearance, conveni- 
ence and dollar value. 

Nevertheless, when the war came, the 
prefabrication movement was still in the 
experimental stage. It has emerged from 
the war in the mass production stage, in- 
finitely stronger than when it went in. 
The government's wartime housing pro- 
gram provided the first volume market the 
industry has ever enjoyed, and it has dem- 
onstrated what prefabrication can do un- 
der favorable conditions, The industry has 
acquired large plant facilities and it has a 
trained personnel. It is now in a position 
to become a strong contender for a major 
share of the current housing requirements. 

The Advantages of Prefabrication 

Mass production methods have proved 
themselves superior to hand methods in 
the production of automobiles, clothes 
and breakfast food. The construction of 
houses is proving to be no exception to the 
rule. Prefabrication, when employed on a 
substantial scale, affords a number of im- 
portant advantages to the home builder 
over traditional methods of building. 

Less Expensive. Prefabricated homes 
are less expensive, in the first place, be- 
cause prefabricators have eliminated much 
of the middleman's profit and the waste of 
labor and materials which are involved in 
the traditional construction. A survey 
made in 1943 and 1944 by the Comptroller 
of United Construction Workers (an af- 
filiate of United Mine Workers) revealed 
that the materials and mechanical equip- 
ment for a $5,000 house actually cost 
$1,200 at the initial source. Approximately 
$2,500 or half of the total cost of such a 
house is consumed in wholesaler-jobber- 
retailer transactions. Less than $250 worth 
of lumber at the original mill costs the 
home owner almost $1,100, trim worth 
$195 costs him $980, $4 worth of glass at 
the wholesale source ends up with a retail 
price tag of ten times that amount. The 
shipping, handling and storing charges and 
the profits of the various middlemen who 
are involved in distributing and selling 
the thousands of parts that go into the or- 
dinary house consume most of the price 
of the house. The prefabricator, since he 
buys in mass, is able to make his purchases 
directly from the producer of the material, 
and thus bypass the sales and handling 
costs of numerous middlemen with their 
pyramiding profits. Thus material costs 
are reduced by as much as forty per cent. 

In the second place, prefabrication is 
more economical in the use of materials 
than ordinary construction. When hand 
saw and hammer methods are employed, 
an allowance of at least 20 per cent must 
be made for waste. Often when there is 
poor management and workmanship on a 

construction job, the waste greatly exceeds 
this amount. Mass production methods, 
by purchasing materials in the exact sizes 
required, by careful engineering and de- 
sign so as to eliminate waste and by pre- 
cision, machine operations, make it pos- 
sible to utilize almost 100 per cent of the 
materials purchased'. 

In the third place, the labor costs on a 
prefabricated house are less than on a house 
built by ordinary methods. Union labor in 
the prefabrication factory receives from 
$.75 to $1.00 per hour as compared to an 
hourly rate of from $1.00 to $2.00 for car- 
penters and other skilled workmen in the 
building trades. This disparity results, in 
large measure, from the fact that the fac- 
tory worker is sheltered from the elements 
and can work and earn throughout the 
year without being dependent on the 
weather, whereas ordinary building is sea- 
sonal and the carpenter or mason is able 
to work and earn during only part of the 
year. The result, however, is that the labor 
costs (even assuming the number of man 
hours to be the same) for the factory sys- 
tem are about half those of the traditional 
building system. 

Not only is the cost of labor per hour 
reduced by prefabrication, but the man 
hours required to construct a house are 
likewise reduced. Every "tailor-made" job 
necessitates bringing a certain amount of 
equipment to the site, setting it up there, 
and then removing it when the job is 
finished. Not so in the factory. There 
equipment is set up only once for the 
production of hundreds or thousands of 
homes. In ordinary construction, tools and 
equipment must be gathered up and stored 
away and materials must be put under 
shelter at the close of each day. In the fac- 
tory, equipment and materials are always 
under shelter. Furthermore, machine pow- 
ered conveyors and hoists in the factory 
do many of the hard and slow tasks which 
must be performed by hand in site con- 


A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses 

Panels are bonded in heated hydraulic presses to 
form sturdy, durable walls. 

It is unlikely that prefabricators will be 
in a position to pass along immediately all 
of these savings to the home buyer. Every 
new industry is faced with many develop- 
mental expenses which increase production 
and selling costs in the earlier stages of 
operation. Nevertheless, prefabrication al- 
ready offers a substantial reduction in cost 
over ordinary building methods. Most pre- 
fabricators are concentrating their princi- 
pal activities in the price field $4,000 to 
$8,000, although a subsidiary of a well- 
known rubber company plans to sell a two 
bedroom house with modern equipment 
for less than $2,500, and some of these 
companies have models which sell up to 

Better Construction. A few years ago a 
South American coffee grower, while on a 
business trip to the United States, chanced 
to remark that frequent earthquakes in 
his native country often damaged or de- 
stroyed the houses there. It was suggested 
to the coffee grower that he investigate 
some of the prefabricated houses which 
were being introduced on the market at 
that time. He made careful inquiry into 
the construction of these factory-built 
houses and finally purchased one, had it 
shipped to his plantation and erected 
there. Since that time, quakes and shim- 
mies have come and gone, but the most 
that has happened to the house he bought 
is a few broken windowpanes. One need 
not go to South America, however, for 

proof of the better construction offered 
by factory fabrication. Numerous tests 
conducted in wind tunnels, laboratories, 
and in the field provide ample confirma- 
tion of this fact. Some prefabricated houses 
have demonstrated a capacity to withstand 
windloads up to 200 miles per hour, as 
compared with 70 miles per hour for con- 
ventional houses. Factory-built floor pan- 
els have been tested to withstand a live 
load in excess of 600 pounds per square 
foot, while floors of conventional houses 
have an average strength of approximately 
50 pounds per square foot. 

New materials are being employed in 
factory-built homes to give increased 
strength and durability. Light metals such 
as aluminum and magnesium, now avail- 
able at new low prices and in greatly in- 
creased quantities, are being used in wall 
and roof panels and in structural units. 
Many prefabricators employ steel for such 
supporting members as joists and studs. 
One of the most important improvements 
is the plywood panel, impregnated and 
bonded with phenol formaldehyde resin, 
which is much stronger than ordinary 
wood. Windows which admit the ultra- 
violet rays of the sun are being made of 
plastics such as Plexiglas and Lucite, which 
were developed during the war for use in 
bomber noses and gun turrets. 

The nature of the work involved in pre- 
fabrication also contributes to better con- 
struction. Machine operations are usually 
more precise than hand operations, and 
repetitive tasks in the factory are more 
conducive to good construction than di- 
verse tasks on the site. Thus one finds a 
precision and exactness in measurements 
and fittings in mass production homes 
which are absent in traditional building. 
The net result is a stronger, better, longer 
lasting house. 

Better Design and Plan. The average 
family about to build a home either draws 
its own plan, selects one from a book of 
house plans, or employs an architect. 
Where no architect is employed, many en- 

A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses 


gineering and architectural problems are 
certain to be overlooked. Perhaps as a re- 
sult the house is poorly balanced in appear- 
ance, does not heat well or presents other 
problems stemming from faulty design. 
Even if an architect is employed, it is un- 
likely that his fee will permit him to de- 
vote more than a few weeks to a single 
house plan. In contrast, major prefabrica- 
tors employ not one architect, but several 
architects and engineers who devote 
months and even years in the designing 
and perfecting of house plans which will 
provide the maximum in attractiveness, 
comfort and durability for the lowest pos- 
sible cost. In response to a recent question- 
naire sent out to prefabricators, it was de- 
termined that the average number of ar- 
chitects employed by each company is 
between three and four. These companies 
have poured hundreds of thousands of 
dollars into the designing of homes and 
construction of experimental models to 
test out their architectural and engineer- 
ing soundness. Thus the prefabricated 
house which is ultimately delivered to the 
home owner is the result of research and 
design far in excess of what any individual 
could afford in planning a single house. 

Speed in Construction. One man 
equipped with the power machinery of a 
factory production line can do the work 
of many men employing only hand tools. 
Thus the larger the proportion of the work 
done by factory methods, the greater the 
saving in time and labor. The pre-cut 
method of prefabrication effects a saving 
of approximately 25 per cent in the time 
and labor required for construction, and 
the panel and sectional methods, which 
carry factory operations much further than 
the pre-cut, effect even further savings in 
time. One company has long advertised 
"a home every 25 minutes" and it plans to 
reduce this time to the point where a new 
house will come rolling off the assembly 
line every fifteen minutes. Furthermore, 

since the traditional building trades are in 
the business of constructing office build- 
ings, apartment houses, theaters, stores and 
other business structures, as well as houses, 
the family which desires to build a home 
in the usual manner must compete with 
these larger and more profitable building 
jobs. The prefabrication industry, on the 
other hand, is primarily in the business of 
building homes and its whole effort is ex- 
pended in getting the maximum number 
of private homes on the market. 

However, the current shortages of such 
essential raw materials as lumber, plywood, 
gypsum board, nails, hardware, and plumb- 
ing equipment have prevented the indus- 
try from operating at capacity. Only about 
thirty thousand prefabricated homes were 
produced during the first nine months of 
1946 as compared with an industry capac- 
ity of many times that amount. Thus, 
until raw materials are available, prefabri- 
cators will not be in a position to apply the 
speed of their processes to the production 
of large quantities of houses. 

Flexibility. The house of ordinary con- 
struction, once it is completed, is wholly 
inflexible in its plan. To put in new win- 
dows or to change the location of a door 
means cutting into the wall of the house, 
removing studding, putting in new frames 
and then replastering and re-siding the 
area. Such a procedure involves consider- 
able time, expense and inconvenience. The 
panel type prefabricated house, however, 
offers a flexibility unique in building. If, 
after having lived in your prefabricated 
home a few months or many years, you 
decide that a row of windows on the south 
side of your living room is what you want, 
all you will have to do is to arrange with 
your local dealer for a "painless" alteration. 
His workmen can substitute or rearrange 
window or door panels in a matter of a few 
hours without waste or dirt or inconve- 

Problems Which Confront Prefabrication 

Any fair appraisal of the prefabrication 
movement, its products and its prospects 
requires consideration of the shortcomings 
and of the problems with which prefabri- 
cation is faced. Some of these problems- 
standardization, distribution and transpor- 
tation—arise from within the prefabrica- 
tion movement and must be worked out 
by the industry itself if it is to succeed and 
prosper. Others, however, are external and 
reflect the opposition of the vested inter- 
ests who see prefabrication as a challenge 
to their own position in the housing field. 
In some instances these negative factors 
may outweigh the advantages of prefabri- 
cation and make it inconvenient or unde- 
sirable to purchase a mass production 
house. The prospective buyer should al- 
ways assay the problems involved before 
he signs on the dotted line. 

Opposition of the Building Industry. 
Prefabrication has been confronted not 
only by apathy, but by actual hostility on 
the part of the traditional building system. 
Real estate and financial interests, appre- 
hensive as to the effect of cheaper and bet- 
ter prefabricated houses on old, overpriced, 
overmortgaged ones, have refused loans 
and other assistance in connection with 
mass produced houses. Contractors and 
building trades unions, fearing that factory 
construction will supplant many of their 
jobs, have refused to erect prefabricated 
houses, or to connect the plumbing, gas 
or electricity, or have exacted exorbitant 
"work permit" charges which raised the 
cost of the houses. Jurisdictional disputes 
between C.I.O. unions in prefabrication 
factories and the A. F. of L. building trades 
unions present further areas of difficulty. 

Fortunately, the opposition of these va- 
rious groups and the attending difficulties 
are not widespread. For the most part they 
are confined to our larger urban centers. 
Nevertheless, any one planning to acquire 
a prefabricated house should ascertain 
whether these conditions exist in his com- 
munity. If they do, the purchaser would 

be wise to arrange with the prefabricator 
for the latter to assume the responsibility 
for erecting the house and putting it in 
readiness for occupancy. Many companies 
maintain their own construction crews for 
this purpose. 

Antiquated Building Codes. The build- 
ing ordinances in many of our urban cen- 
ters are hopelessly out of date and in many 
respects not adapted to modern construc- 
tion methods. Some of these codes require 
the use of old-fashioned materials while 
excluding the use of newer, more desirable 
materials. Others fix minimum dimensions 
for floor joists, roof rafters and wall studs. 
When originally adopted, many years ago, 
wood was the only material employed for 
residential framework and these provisions 
may have afforded some protection against 
"jerry-built" houses. But today if a prefab- 
ricator who uses steel or laminated wood 
for structural members were to abide by 
some of the dimensions designated, he 
could support a skyscraper on the frame- 
work of his prefabricated house. 

Furthermore, building codes have been 
notorious footballs for politicians and 
sometimes are filled with unreasonable re- 
strictions and featherbedding practices 
dictated by shrewd lobbyists or influential 
labor groups. As a result, the widespread 
use of prefabrication is seriously handi- 
capped because in a great many of the 
larger cities, prefabricated construction is 
either not permitted or made extremely 

The United States Department of Com- 
merce is aware of these conditions and is 
now attempting to work out a uniform 
code which can be used throughout the 
nation. Until building codes are modern- 
ized, however, urban dwellers will find it 
difficult, if not impossible, to take advan- 
tage of prefabricated homes and the entire 
prefabrication industry will suffer from be- 
ing excluded from the large metropolitan 

Transportation Costs. It you chance to 

A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses 


live in Montana or Saskatchewan, you will 
probably lose your enthusiasm for prefab- 
rication when you see the substantial item 
in the price of the house marked 'Trans- 
portation Costs/' The pre-cut house, be- 
cause of the rudimentary nature of the 
prefabrication involved, can be shipped for 
long distances, but most other types of 
mass produced houses have definite limits 
as to the distance which they can be eco- 
nomically transported. The most desirable 
way to ship prefabricated houses is by truck 
trailer which can be power loaded at the 
factory and driven directly to the site. The 
truck can be detached and the house con- 
structed from the trailer while the truck 
is making other deliveries with alternative 
trailers. It has been suggested that 300 
miles is the maximum shipping radius for 
this method of transportation. Ultimately 
the prefabrication industry will become de- 
centralized, factories will be strategically 
located within easy reach of a large per- 
centage of our population and shipping 
charge will amount to no more than $50 
or $75. At the present, however, it is nec- 
essary to ship hundreds of miles to secure 
the advantages of prefabrication in some 
parts of the country and where consider- 
able distances are involved, the prospective 
purchaser should weigh the additional ex- 
pense against the benefits obtained. 

Standardization. When we buy automo- 
biles, refrigerators or radios, we accept 
products which are substantially identical 
to those purchased by our next door neigh- 
bor, our friends and others in the same 
community. As to these and countless 

other products, the public has been per- 
suaded that standardization in design is 
desirable, or at least acceptable, in order 
to obtain benefits of mass production. This 
is not yet the case in the housing field. 
Our homes, like ladies' hats, must express 
the owner's individuality and taste if not 
distinction and style. Many of the early 
prefabricators did not recognize this fact, 
and discovered that their standardized 
product was not marketable, despite care- 
ful design and engineering and sound con- 
struction. The prefabricator of today has 
varied his bill of fare. Scores of basic house 
plans are nowavailable and the appearance 
of each of these can be varied by changes 
in corner quoins, the trim, the type of 
doors and windows, the shutters and in 
numerous other ways. One can have an at- 
tached garage, a detached garage or no 
garage. Inside these houses alternative lo- 
cations for closets, kitchen appliances, etc. 
afford further variety. Communities al- 
ready exist which are made up entirely of 
houses produced by a single prefabricator 
without the drab monotony of standard- 
ization. Having said all this, the fact re- 
mains that most types of prefabrication do 
not afford the individuality or variety 
available in tailor-made houses. Those who 
want to plan their homes exactly as they 
choose, without regard for basic plans or 
existing designs, and are able to afford the 
extra expense such individual planning en- 
tails, will probably continue to look to the 
traditional building trade for their homes 
in the future. 

Merchandising — The Final Hurdle 

It has been noted that one of the problems 
which confronted the prefabrication in- 
dustry in the 1930's was that of distribut- 
ing and erecting the houses which it pro- 
duced. Most of the other problems of that 
era — engineering, designing and factory 
production— have now been resolved, but 

the problem of merchandising remains a 
serious one. Houses are the largest com- 
modity for which mass distribution has 
been attempted. They cannot be sold over 
the counter as can mass produced foods, 
clothing and household articles, nor driven 
away from the factory like an automobile 


A Practical Guide to Prefabricated Houses 

or truck. Before they are ready for use the 
site must be prepared, foundations laid, 
the houses erected and the utilities in- 
stalled and connected. Thus more is re- 
quired for adequate merchandising of 
houses than for other products. Prefabri- 
cators are attempting to meet this need by 
a variety of distribution methods. 

L Direct to Customer. The pre-cut type 
house, which presents only a rudimentary 
form of prefabrication, has always been 
sold by mail, and the companies employ- 
ing this method will, for the most part, 
continue to sell in this manner. Prefabri- 
cators using other construction methods 
are al$o selling direct to the consumer by 
means of mail order, salesmen or factory 
showrooms where the area served is small 
and erection can be accomplished by build- 
ing crews going out from the factory. 

II. Real Estate Developments. Some 
prefabricators confine their selling to build- 
ers of real estate developments in which a 
single entrepreneur acquires the land, sub- 
divides it, purchases and erects the houses 
and then sells each separate house and lot. 

III. Department Store Agencies. Per- 
haps the most widely publicized distribu- 
tors of mass produced houses have been 
some of the large city department stores. 
A few of these stores have undertaken to 
assist the buyer in selecting a suitable site 
for his home, assume the responsibility for 
erecting the house and arrange the financ- 
ing. More often, however, these stores 
menely display the houses so that a pro- 
spective buyer may examine the materials 
and construction methods and observe the 
appearance and arrangement of the houses 
when set up and furnished. 

IV. Local Representatives. The major- 
ity of prefabricators are attempting to ob- 
tain local sales and service organizations 
similar to those employed by the automo- 
bile industry. At present local representa- 
tives may consist of a local builder or lum- 
ber dealer, but the ultimate goal is full- 
time agencies which would provide the 
services of an architect, a real estate ad- 
visor, a builder and landscaping and deco- 
rating experts. 

Prefabricators and Their Houses 

Having considered the prefabrication in- 
dustry as a whole— its origins and history, 
the diverse types of construction of which 
it is composed, the advantages it offers and 
the problems confronting it — one must 
turn to the prefabricators who make up 
this industry and the houses they produce. 
The remainder of this book is devoted to 

an appraisal of the homes manufactured 
by some twenty-one leading prefabricators. 
More than a hundred pictures and floor 
plans of representative houses are shown 
and an analysis is made of the prices, meth- 
ods of distribution and the materials and 
furnishings employed by each company. 

Part II 



Rodney McCay Morgan 

Produced by 


570 Lexington Avenue 
New York 22, New York 

Rodney McCay Morgan 

Above: Full two story home with combina- 
tion brick veneer and bevel siding exterior 
constructed at Portsmouth, Virginia. 

Below: Attractive story and a half house 
with breezeway porch and garage which is 
well suited to its sloping site at Darien, 

Rodney McCay Morgan 

Rodney McCay Morgan 

Above: Cape Cod type home with com- 
bination siding and shingle side wall, dor- 
mer windows, and attached garage built at 
Stamford, Connecticut. 

Below: Gently sloping roofs and large 
porch give this home at Macon, Georgia, 
traditional southern atmosphere. 

Rodney McCay Morgan 

Facts and Figures About American Houses 

AMERICAN HOUSES, INC., was organized 
. in 1932 by architect Robert W. McLaughlin. 
Its first houses, which were of steel panel con- 
struction and modern in design, were not readily 
accepted by the buying public and in 1936 the 
company changed to traditional designs and wood 
construction. Since that time the company has 
rapidly expanded its business, and, by the acquisi- 
tion of new plants and affiliation with other com- 
panies, has created a nationwide organization. 

Unique Method of Operation 

The men who direct the affairs of American 
Houses, Inc. view prefabrication in a somewhat 
different light than many in the industry. They 
feel that the proper function of prefabrication is 
to serve as a kind of ''refining operation" between 
the suppliers of the raw materials and the con- 
tractor at the site. This new link in the chain of 
construction assembles the multitude of raw mate- 
rials which go into the construction of a house; 
performs certain cutting, fitting, and assembling 
operations which can be done more economically 
in a plant than at the site; and then passes the 
processed materials on to the contractor. In this 
manner the opposition of the traditional construc- 
tion industry is in large measure avoided, since the 
prefabricator serves the building contractor rather 
than competes with him. 

You Deal With a Local Builder 

Since American Houses sells its product only 
through contractors, you will be working at all 
times with a builder in your own community. Local 
facilities are used, and local architects, carpenters, 
plumbers, electricians, and others are employed 
just as in conventional construction. You obtain 
the machine accuracy and speed of construction 
with respect to the basic parts of your house which 
prefabrication affords together with the flexibility 
of exterior wall surfaces, roofing material, architec- 
tural detail, colors, composition, and arrangement 
provided by the local contractor who is in full 
charge of these matters. 

American Houses can advise you whether there 
is a contractor in your area who is constructing 
homes with its materials. 

Number of Models 

American Houses offers no set number of house 
designs. Its own architects working alone or in 
collaboration with architects employed for various 
projects have designed scores of houses from which 
to select. These homes are one, one and a half, 
and two story models in both single and multiple 
family units. Furthermore, an architect can be em- 
ployed to draw up new and different plans, com- 
bining the 4 feet by 8 feet prefabricated modular 

sections in any manner desired. Thus whole com- 
munities have been constructed of houses prefab- 
ricated by American without any evidence of 
monotonous similarity. 

Labor and Materials Furnished 
by Amencan Houses 

The company supplies all the carpentry mate- 
rials, cut with factory precision and fabricated into 
panels to form the superstructure of your home. 
Wall panels are 4 feet by 8 feet with plywood 
sheathing over 2 by 4 framing. Insulation is in- 
stalled in these panels at the factory, but lath 
and plaster or wallboarding is supplied in stand- 
ard form to be applied at the site in the conven- 
tional manner. Floor panels measure 4 feet by 
half the width of the house. The joist sizes are 
determined by the length of this span. Subflooring 
of Vs inch plywood is factory applied, but finish 
oak flooring and floor insulation are sent along to 
be applied when the house is erected. Roof rafters, 
sheathing, and ceiling joists are pre-cut to exact 
size and shape for quick and accurate assembly at 
the site. Doors are factory fitted complete with 
solid brass hardware, hung in jambs and installed as 
units, primed and ready for erection as a section. 
Interior doors are of the two panel design; ex 
terior doors may be either the six panel Colonial 
style or one panel with nine small window lights. 
Windows are factory fitted complete with brass 
hardware and balances installed, hung in panels 
ready for erection as a wall unit. 

In addition to these pre-cut or pre-assembled 
structural items, American supplies your contractor 
with exterior siding to be applied after the super- 
structure is raised, asphalt or slate roof shingles, 
interior finish of dry wall or lath and plaster, pre- 
finished oak floors, linoleum for kitchen and bath, 
and all standard interior and exterior trim. The 
company supplies such equipment as kitchen sink 
and cabinets, medicine cabinets, and other bath- 
room accessories, a Coleman hot water heater, and 
a Coleman forced -air or gravity warm air furnace, 
either gas or oil fired. 

With these various materials, American supplies 
all working blueprints necessary for erection, with 
the exception of those for the plumbing. The con- 
tractor receives the assistance of company engi- 
neers and architects through each phase of plan- 
ning a job. 


Since the homes are usually specially designed 
for each particular project, the prices vary accord- 
ing to the size and design. The price range today 
conforms to current popular levels, and ranges 
from $3,500 to $20,000. 



Produced by 

Westfield, Massachusetts 

The "Brewster" is a compactly planned house, which, despite its small 
overall dimensions, provides four cross-ventilated bedrooms. The side 
porch, opening off of the living room, gives addition^ width to the house 
and relieves its square appearance. A basement provides space for heating 
and laundry equipment and for storage purposes. 


The "Hyannis" provides three bedrooms, a living room, dining room, 
kitchen, and bath, all on one floor. A utility room, containing the winter 
air conditioning unit and the hot water heater, makes a basement un- 
necessary for this purpose. The addition of a breezeway porch and a one- 
car garage to the basic plan, which is already quite wide, gives an overall 
appearance reminiscent of the old-time rambling house. 

Facts and Figures About Anchorage Homes 

ANCHORAGE HOMES, INC., of Westfield, 
- Massachusetts, has combined the traditions 
of early Colonial American design with modern 
factory production in the variety of homes which 
it produces. This company is an outgrowth and 
expansion of the Holt-Fairchild Co., which has, 
in recent years, prefabricated and constructed sev- 
eral entire communities in the New England area. 
Anchorage has acquired all the patents, machinery, 
and equipment of Holt-Fairchild, and through the 
public sale of stock has financed the construction 
of a large modern factory at Westfield. 


Anchorage offers one of the largest assortment 
of houses available from any prefabricator. You 
may choose from some forty-eight designs ranging 
from the "Manomet" with one bedroom, living 
room, dining alcove, kitchen, and bath to the 
"Orleans" with four bedrooms (two upstairs and 
two down), two baths, living room, library, full 
dining room, kitchen, breezeway porch, garage, 
and basement. Although these homes are modern 
with respect to equipment and livability, their 
exteriors are all of the traditional Cape Cod Colo- 
nial design and appearance which has long been 
typical of the New England countryside. 


Wall panels are of full room size, and are assem- 
bled by a special method of coupling which gives 
no evidence either on the exterior or interior wall 
of the panel type of construction. The interior 
wall and ceiling surfaces are made of five-ply lam- 
inated Kraft Boards which are attached to the 
frame at the plant. Perfection cedar shingles in 
Colonial white are installed over the entire exterior 
surface of the wall panels, except for the joints 
between panels which are shingled at the site. 
All doors and windows are hung and installed in 
the respective wall panels -completely trimmed, 
glazed, and weatherstripped - before ieaving the 
factory. The floor panels are finished with fine 
oak flooring in all rooms except kitchen and bath 
where linoleum is laid. 

Other Materials Supplied 

In addition to the basic shell of the house, 
Anchorage supplies most of the equipment and 
fixtures you will need in a home. The kitchen is 
equipped with two large cabinets, a built-in sink 
and draining tray and a gas or electric range as 
you choose. The bathroom comes fully equipped 
with a built-in tub and shower, wall lavatory, and 
a flush toilet. A twenty gallon hot water heater, 
operated either by gas or by electricity is located 

in the basement or the first floor utility room. An 
oil burning, thermostatic controlled warm air 
heater circulates filtered and humidified air to all 
rooms. The oil tank for this heater is buried under 
the back lawn. All the rooms of each house are 
equipped with floor plugs for indirect lighting 
with the exception of the dining room, kitchen, 
bath, and utility rooms where overhead lights are 
provided. A Colonial lantern is supplied for the 
front entrance. 

For the house roof Anchorage furnishes fire- 
resistant 210 pound asphalt slate shingles in red, 
green, or black. All windows come with shutters 
in matching colors. All windows and doors are 
supplied with screens and the windows with 
shades. The front entrance has a i 3 /4 inch thick, 
six panel Colonial door with ornamental frame. 
The kitchen door has glass above a single bottom 
panel. The exterior doors are furnished with cyl- 
inder locks with master keys, brass knobs, and 
three hinges. Interior doors are furnished with 
tubular latches, black knobs, and two hinges. 
Kitchen cabinet hardware is of chromium. 

Distribution and Erection 

Anchorage plans to serve the nine northeastern 
states within a 250 mile radius of Westfield. 
Within this area it is organizing a chain of dealers 
who will represent the company in selling, erect- 
ing, and servicing its homes. Most of these repre- 
sentatives are selected because of their previous' 
connection with the building or real estate busi- 
ness and they receive special training from An- 
chorage, so that they are in a position to be of 
considerable assistance to you in dealing with the 
problems of home building. As soon as your order 
for an Anchorage house is sent to the factory by 
the dealer, his crews begin the excavation for the 
basement or foundation called for by the house 
plan. Meantime at the factory all the necessary 
panels, materials, equipment, and fixtures are as- 
sembled, and as soon as the dealer has advised that 
the foundation is complete, the entire "package" 
is sent out by truck trailer from the factory to the 
site. Within a day or two the dealer's crew has 
completed the closure. Another week is required 
to install the plumbing, wiring and heating systems 
and give the entire house a final coat of paint. 


Because of the uncertainties in the present-day 
lumber and materials market, firm prices have 
not yet been established on Anchorage homes, 
but the projected price range is between $3,600 
for the lowest price house to $7,600 for the most 
expensive home. This is the price of the completed 
home with utilities and fixtures installed. 



Produced by 

McDonough, New York 

This two bedroom home, located at Sidney, New York, represents the 
smallest home designed and produced by. the Factory Built Company. 
Windows can be added in the gable ends in order to make possible the 
addition of extra bedrooms in the attic. It will be noted that the kitchen 
and bath are located adjacent to each other, an important factor in re- 
ducing the cost of plumbing installation. 

This three bedroom house, located at Palatka, Florida, departs from the 
more conventional square or rectangular shaped house, having a project- 
ing wing and front gable to give it added attractiveness. The wide archway 
between the living room and dining room provides a greater feeling of 
spaciousness without detracting from the individuality of either room. 
The breezeway and garage, which have been added to the basic house, can 
be made a part of most Ford homes. 

I2'0"X I2-0" 

Bed Ro0a\ 
&'-6*x 12-0" 



Bed Rooa\ 

9-4" x iz'-o" 

Dining Roo/a Living Roca\ 

10-8"XI2'-Cf I2'-0"X 16'0" 


Bed Roor\ 

13-4" X 1 5-4" 

Facts and Figures About Ford Factory-Built Homes 

THE Ford Factory-Built system of prefabrica- 
tion had its inception in 1935, when Ivon R. 
Ford, the head of a New York lumber company, 
developed his own system of factory fabrication. 
Houses constructed according to his system were 
extensively tested at the College of Engineering 
of Cornell University, and improvements in de- 
sign and construction have been made from time 
to time. 

Number of Models 

Twenty-four different models of Ford homes 
are manufactured and offered for sale. Most of 
these homes provide two bedrooms and are simi- 
lar in their basic floor plan. Considerable varia- 
tion in exterior appearance is achieved, however, 
by the use of several different porches which can 
be attached at the front or sides, breezeways, at- 
tached or semiattached garages, shutters, window 
boxes, and other architectural treatment. These 
homes can be constructed with or without a base- 
ment as you may desire. 

Materials and Construction 

The panel system of prefabrication is employed 
throughout in the construction of Ford homes. 
Wall panels consist of hemlock, pine, or fir fram- 
ing to which heavy plywood sheathing and wall- 
board are both glued and nailed. Cotton blanket 
insulation and the electrical wiring system are 
built into the panels and the interior trim is en- 
tirely installed. Window and door frames together 
with the double hung windows and finished doors 
are also built into the panels at the factory. 

Thus the walls are completely finished at the 
plant except that the exterior siding is applied 
after the house is erected at the site. In this way 
there is no sign of the joints where the panels come 
together. The roof panels are similarly completed 
save for the application of asphalt shingles after the 
panels have been erected. The floor is built in sec- 
tions up to 8 feet wide and 24 feet long, and the 
prefinished hardwood flooring is nailed in place, 
sanded and finished at the factory so that nothing 
needs to be done to the floor after installation 
except to give it a final coat of wax. 

The company ordinarily supplies such items as 
window and door screens and window blinds. The 
wiring (Romex) is supplied and built into the 
wall units. Bathroom fixtures such as bathtub, 
toilet, lavatory and medicine cabinet are also fur- 


Although Ford's company continues to manufac- 
ture homes at its McDonough, N. Y. plant, its 
primary function is to conduct further experi- 

mentation in the field of prefabrication in an effort 
to secure better materials and equipment and to 
improve the methods of construction. It has 
licensed several other companies to carry on the 
bulk of the manufacture and distribution of homes 
produced by the Ford system. There are at pres- 
ent nine different plants licensed to manufacture 
and sell these houses. These companies are: 

Hilz Homes Co., 801 Railroad Street, 

Toronto Ohio 
L, H. Riedel Lumber Co., Marlette, Michigan 
Barden & Robeson Corp., Middleport, New York 
J. W. Campbell, Inc., Palatka, Florida 
R. C. Bennett Box Co., Clinton, Iowa 
Lincoln Lumber Co., 2201 East 14th Street, 

Oakland, California 
Home Builders Corp., Atlanta, Georgia 
Preco Corp., P.O. Box 657, 

Bellingham, Washington 
Hudson Supply & Equipment Corp., 

1727 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., 

Washington 6, D. C. 

Each licensee operates his business as an indepen- 
dent unit and establishes his own prices according 
to local labor, material and transportation costs. 
For the most part these licensees confine their 
sales to an area within a 100 mile radius of their 
plant, and deliver the materials to the site by 
truck trailer. 


Each licensee appoints within the area it serves 
a series of dealers who sell the homes and under- 
take the responsibility of the excavating for base- 
ment or foundation and erecting the house. Since 
the company does not furnish such items as paint, 
varnish, wallpaper, refrigerator or range, the local 
dealer is responsible for the purchase and applica- 
tion or installation of these items. Under normal 
conditions a house can be completed, transported, 
and erected within a month after the order is ex- 
ecuted, but under present conditions of extended 
demand and material shortages, the company and 
its licensees are running several weeks behind nor- 
mal schedules. If you live within 100 miles of any 
of the above named licensees, you can correspond 
directly with the company in your area concerning 
the purchase of a Ford home. 


Ford homes range in price from $5,000 to 
$8,500" completely erected and ready for occu- 
pancy. These prices do not include a fireplace, 
however, and if you want one in your Ford house, 
from $200 to $300 must be added. 


Produced by 

Chicago Daily News Building 
Chicago 4, Illinois 

Above: A large steel panel house with 
combination hipped and flat roof, con- 
structed at Detroit, Michigan, in 1936. 

Below; An attractive modern home 
which is well suited to its sloping site at 
Ft. Wayne, Ind. Constructed in 1936. 

Above: Home prefabricated for Miss 
Ruth Page, noted dancer, in 1932 and 
erected on a high lake bluff in Win- 
netka, Illinois, 

Below: One of the 238 houses in the 
"Fairway Project" near Washington, 
D. C, constructed in 1942, 

Rodney McCay Morgan 

Facts and Figures About General Houses 

FOUNDED in 1929, General Houses has ex- 
perienced, during the past two decades, much of 
the metamorphosis and the growing pains com- 
mon to the prefabrication industry as a whole. Its 
earlier years were devoted to research and develop- 
mental work, and it was not until 1932 that its 
first houses were offered for sale. The initial prod- 
uct consisted of frameless interchangeable steel 
panel homes of "modern" design. Exhibit houses 
were displayed at the Century of Progress Exposi- 
tion in 1933 and 1934, and a substantial number 
of houses were sold throughout the United States 
and a limited number were shipped abroad. The 
experiences of this earlier period indicated, how- 
ever, that the use of modern design and materials 
not normally employed in house construction 
made it difficult to obtain satisfactory mortgage 
loans, a prime requisite in the sale of most homes. 
General Houses accordingly undertook intensive 
development work to perfect various construction 
methods employing wood as the basic element, 
and also providing a sloping roof of conventional 
architectural appearance. In the war emergency 
the company was called upon to build five large 
housing projects, four in the East and one in Cali- 

Number of Models 

General Houses offers some 30 different models 
of houses of both steel and wood construction. It 
is currently featuring a four room house of tradi- 
tional Cape Cod design which employs wood 
framed panels and measures 32'-9" by 25' in its 
overall dimensions. This basic plan provides a large 
12' x 20' living room, two good-sized bedrooms, 
bath, utility room, or basement, and efficient 
kitchen. The house is planned for the addition of 
two bedrooms and a bath on the second floor, 
either at the time of erection or at a later date 
should the owner desire. Various exterior treat- 
ments can be used, and prefabricated porches, 
breezeways, and garages can be added, making pos- 
sible a great variety in appearance. 

Materials and Construction 

GH homes are constructed of panels which are 
highly standardized and made interchangeable 
to the maximum extent possible. Exterior wood 
framed panels are complete with prefinished full 
¥4 inch thick, solid wood V-jointed tongue and 
groove vertical exterior finish, building paper, 
blanket insulation, aluminum foil insulation and 
vapor seal, and prefinished gypsum board interior 
finish. Framing members are standard 2" x 4" size 
on 16 inch centers, with all joints mortised and 
members let in. Gasketed exterior joints are held 
by special splines of steel. Floor panels come com- 

plete with joists, building paper, 2 inch thick 
blanket insulation, vapor seal paper, and quality 
prefinished oak flooring. Ceiling panels are com- 
plete with prefinished gypsum board, aluminum 
foil insulation and vapor seal, 2 inch thick blanket 
insulation, and building paper. All joints are mor- 
tised and panel edges are joined and securely held 
together by steel splines. The ceiling panels in all 
houses are designed to take full loads for second- 
story rooms. Roof panels are constructed of 2" x 6" 
rafters covered with a finished surface ready for 
the application of asphalt shingles or any alternate 
standard roofing. Windows are double hung, 
glazed, weatherstripped, and complete with 
screens; doors are the flush panel type, ready hung, 
and complete with hardware. 

Panels for steel homes of the type illustrated on 
the preceding pages are of 14 gauge, rust-resisting, 
copper-bearing steel with interior surfaces of celo- 
tex or sheet rock. From 2 to 3^2 inches of insulat- 
ing material is interposed between the outer and 
the inner wall finishes. Floors are constructed of 
either wood or steel subflooring on steel joists with 
ordinary hardwood finish flooring; roofs are wood 
or steel sheathing on steel rafters covered with 
built-up roofing material. 


During the company's earlier history its dealers 
were largely chosen from outside the home build- 
ing field in the belief that with a new product of 
this type a more successful job of retail merchan- 
dising could be accomplished. This method of dis- 
tribution proved inadequate, however, and many 
of the early difficulties resulted from the lack of 
practical home building knowledge and experience 
on the part of the dealers selected. Consequently, 
General Houses today offers its prefabricated 
houses to the public through lumber and material 
dealers exclusively. The company has established 
a large and entrenched dealer organization of 238 
franchised outlets, largely concentrated in the 
heavily populated eastern and Great Lakes states. 
The dealer prepares the site, provides the founda- 
tion (with or without basement as the buyer pre- 
fers), erects the house, installs the utilities, and 
completes the interior and exterior decoration. 


The dealer buys the house parts and panels at 
established dealer prices, and determines his own 
retail price in view of local costs and conditions. 
Prices are geared to the low and medium price 
fields, however, and range between $5,000 for the 
basic two bedroom house design with simple ex- 
terior to about $10,000 for the four bedroom, two 
bathroom house. 



Produced by 

Laurel, Mississippi 

This small house, measuring only 32 feet by 24 feet, is lifted out of the 
commonplace class by the attractive bay window, the latticed entryway, 
and the thoughtfully designed floor plan. Here is a small house, for a 
change, with abundant closet and storage space— four ordinary closets and 
two storage closets, each about 5 feet square. A small entry vestibule, 
which prevents the incidental caller from trekking into your living room, 
is another valuable feature often omitted in the less expensive homes. 

Here is a three bedroom house that can 
be placed on a narrow 40 foot lot. The 
overall width of the house is only 24 feet, 
although it has a floor area of almost a 
thousand square feet. It is so oriented on 
the lot that the large living porch and liv- 
ing room windows face the rear where 
privacy is obtained. As in all Green homes, 
a great deal of storage space is provided on 
the ground floor. Large double windows 
provide abundant light and ventilation in 
all rooms. 

Facts and Figures About Laurel Homes 

THE GREEN LUMBER CO. has been en- 
gaged in the prefabricated business since 1934 
when it began the production of CCC camps and 
similar structures. During the war it entered into 
the emergency housing program and produced sev- 
eral thousand dwelling units. With the end of 
hostilities it converted its plant over to the produc- 
tion of the larger and more attractive peacetime 

Number of Models Offered 

Green produces seven different homes ranging 
from the smallest, measuring 32 feet by 24 feet 
and providing living room, dining alcove, kitchen, 
bath, two bedrooms, and five closets including 
two large storage closets, to the largest, measuring 
52 feet by 24 feet and providing three bedrooms, 
bath, living room and living porch, a full-sized 
dining room, kitchen, rear porch, laundry and 
storage room, and six closets. All of these are 
single story houses, but company architects are 
busy drawing up plans for a line of story and a 
half homes in the Cape Cod tradition. All Green 
homes can be obtained with or without a basement 
as you prefer. It will be noted that some of these 
homes are especially designed to be placed length- 
wise on a narrow lot, and that many have large, 
pleasant, screened porches so typical of the South' 

Method and Area of Distribution 

Because of the shortages of seasoned lumber, 
plywood, nails and many other essential raw ma- 
terials, production of Laurel Homes is greatly • 
below Green's plant capacity. As a result sales are 
being confined at present to the states within the 
immediate area of the Mississippi factory. When 
production can be increased to desired levels, the 
company plans to sell its homes throughout the 

Sales are made through local dealers and real 
estate developers. Thus, all of your negotiations 
in the purchase of a Laurel Home are with some- 
one in your own community. This representative 
will help you decide upon the house which is best 
suited to your family needs, the size and contour 
of your lot, and your financial means. You will 
arrange with the* dealer as to the style of interior 
decoration, the color of roof shingles and exterior 
paint, the type of heating equipment, and the 
choice of plumbing and lighting fixtures. 

Under ordinary conditions the Green Company 
can make delivery of a house within 30 to 60 days 
after receipt of an order. Under present conditions 
the company is forced to reject a large proportion 
of incoming orders, so that it can continue to 
make prompt delivery on those orders which are 

accepted. Shipment is made either by truck or rail 
depending upon the distance involved. 

How Laurel Homes Are Constructed 

Walls are of panel construction based on a 4' 
module. The framing consists of 2x4 studs placed 
16 inches on center as in traditional building. The 
frame for each panel is covered on the exterior 
with a heavy plywood sheathing. The interior 
side of the frame is covered with a high grade, 
highly finished plywood, which may be stained 
and varnished, painted, or papered. Insulation is 
installed in the wall panels at the factory. Interior 
partitions differ from outer walls only in that in- 
sulation is omitted and the more highly finished in- 
terior plywood is applied to both sides of the par- 
tition frame. 

Floors consist of regular wood joists covered with 
plywood subflooring. Over the subflooring a high 
grade of hardwood flooring is laid at the factory. 
This flooring must be finished, sanded and pol- 
ished at the site after the house is erected. Linole- 
um is furnished for bathroom and kitchen. 

Roof and ceiling panels are made of factory cut 
rafters and joists to which plywood sheets have 
been securely attached. The plywood used for the 
ceiling is of the same finished grade employed on 
interior walls. A heavier sheathing plywood is used 
for the roof panels, and 210 lb. asphalt shingles 
(in a variety of colors) are supplied by the com- 
pany to be applied at the place of building. 

Doors are supplied in a variety of stock designs. 
Windows are either four pane or sixteen pane 
double hung. Window and door screens are fur- 
nished by the company. 

Function of the Dealer-Builder 

After the order for a house is placed, but prior 
to the time of delivery, the local dealer must ex- 
cavate the site and construct the basement or 
foundation with his own crews or by subcontrac- 
tors employed for that purpose. When the house 
arrives his crew must erect the house (approxi- 
mately 200 man hours being required for this 
purpose), apply the bevel siding and the roof 
shingles on the exterior and the trim and decora- 
ting on the interior, furnish and install the plumb- 
ing, heating, and electrical systems and fixtures, 
paint the house and perhaps take care of some of 
the landscaping. About a week is required for 
erection and probably two or three additional 
weeks for the installation of the utilities. 


Green houses range in price from $5,000 for the 
two bedroom size to $8,500 for the largest size. 


Produced by 

1221 Eighteenth Avenue 
Rockford, Illinois 

Above: The broad, uninterrupted view on the southward-facing side gives 
a feeling of roominess to the Solar house. Illuminating engineers explain 
that this thing called ' glare" comes not so much from an extensive light 
as from a too-sharp contrast between dark and light, such as the bright 
patches of window area in a completely shaded room. 

Below: Floor plan of house shown on these pages, one of 
many Solar Homes to be offered to the public by the Green 
Company. Dotted lines indicate position of folding parti- 
tions which may be used to create as many as three bed- 
rooms in this home. 




Hedrich-Lessing Studio 

Above: Built-in wardrobe and drawers to accommodate practically every 
household item. Three units shown here in bedroom of Solar Home. 
More can be added as desired. 

Below: Kitchen is completely equipped with refrigerator, range, 
sink, washer and cabinets. Also contains ample space for a breakfast 
table and chairs. 

Hedrich-Lessing Studio 

Facts and Figures About Green's Ready-Built Homes 

The Solar House 

"pvESPITE the ancient admonition to those who 
LJ live in glass houses, there is a decided tend- 
ency to employ ever larger areas of glass in today's 
homes. These large stretches of uninterrupted 
windows provide a broader vista of the out-of- 
doors, more abundant indoor daylight, and a feel- 
ing of spaciousness and depth in the rooms them- 
selves. Furthermore, if the large window areas are 
placed on the south side of the house, the warm 
rays of the sun can be harnessed to heat the house 
on winter days. Until recently this principle of 
solar heating was embodied in only a few of the 
more expensive houses built by those who could 
afford this innovation. Then Green's Ready-Built 
Homes, a prefabricator of traditional style houses 
since the late 1930's, decided to make the solar 
type home available to all on a prefabricated basis. 
They employed architect George Fred Keck, a 
pioneer in this field, to design a flexible system for 
constructing solar houses in a variety of floor plans 
suitable for different sites, needs, and purses. 

Number of Models 

Green's now offer fourteen different models, 
ranging from a small one bedroom home to a four 
bedroom house with two baths, a large living room, 
dining room, kitchen, utility room/ storage room 
and attached two-car garage. These homes provide 
an unusual variety both in floor plans and exterior 
appearance. Their flexibility as to size and shape 
make them adaptable to contour, size and pano- 
rama of almost any plot. 

Water on the Roof 

In order to help keep the house cool and pleas- 
ant during hot weather, the flat roof is prepared so 
that a thin sheet of water can be kept on it during 
summer months. Tests have shown that a water- 
film roof will make a house about io° cooler in- 
side by evaporation and reflecting the sun's rays. 
An automatic valve keeps the water at the proper 

Radiant Panel Heating 

Although the sun provides a substantial source 
of heat for the Solar house, it merely augments 
the special heating unit, located in the utility 
room, which forces warm air to circulate through 
the ducts in the floor tile. This radiant type of 
heating, although not yet widely used, promises 
to become more and more popular with future 
home owners. It eliminates unsightly radiators or 
registers by converting the floor into one contin- 
uous radiator. Since there is so large a radiating sur- 

* face, temperatures do not need to be high. The 
heat rises evenly from the whole floor without 
noise or draft. 

Controlled Ventilation 

Special attention has been given to the ventila 
tion of the Solar house. Since the large Thermo- 
pane windows are securely sealed into place in the 
framework of the house and cannot be opened, 
screened louvers have been provided in every room. 
These louvers can be left open during storms with- 
out danger of the rain beating in. An Ilgo electric 
ventilator is provided in the kitchen. 

Construction and Distribution 

Green houses are built according to the panel 
type of prefabrication. The wall panels are faced 
with l A inch plywood on the inside and Vs inch 
plywood on the outside, with Balsam Wool insula- 
tion built in. The roof is also formed into sections, 
with the underside, which forms the ceiling, cov- 
ered with acoustical ceiling tile. The upper or roof 
side is covered with heavy plywood, to which the 
roofing material is then attached. All doors are 2 '8" 
by 6' 8" in size, and are completely installed at the 

These homes are distributed exclusively through 
dealers located within a 300 miles radius of Rock- 
ford, Illinois. The various prefabricated parts and 
equipment are shipped by truck from the factory 
to the local dealer, who is responsible for erec- 
tion, installation of fixtures and equipment, and 

Equipment Supplied 

Green's supply all the equipment necessary for 
the operation of the Solar house. The bathroom 
is furnished with a full complement of fixtures- 
bathtub, toilet and lavatory— produced by Crane. 
The kitchen is supplied with metal cabinets by 
St. Charles Mfg. Co., a General Electric garbage 
disposal unit and refrigerator and a Roper gas 
range. In the utility room you will find an auto- 
matically fueled furnace by International Oil 
Burner Co., a hot water heater by Crane, a Servi- 
Soft water softener, a Bendix automatic washer 
and a clothes dryer produced by Chicago Dryer 
Co. The house is completely wired with outlets 
in every room and overhead fixtures in the kitchen 
and utility room. 


The prices of Solar Homes vary according to 
the size and style purchased. The house shown on 
the preceding pages will sell for about $7,500 with 
all equipment furnished and ready for occupancy, 

4 2 


Produced by 

New Albany, Indiana 

The home shown above is the smallest Gunnison house, measuring 28 
feet by 24 feet in size. It features a basement, screened arched porch, 
window boxes* pilasters and plaques and long shutters as optional items. 
If no basement is desired, a utility room is located on the main floor in 
place of a basement stairway. 

left-hand plan right-hand plan 

This Size 5 home is equipped with fireplace, arcade, garage, long shutters, 
entrance hood, scrolls, iron rail, window boxes and a picket fence. The 
dotted lines shown in the utility room of the house plan indicate position 
of stairs if a basement is used, in which case the utility room wall may be 
shifted to enlarge the kitchen or bedroom #3 by 4 feet. Gunnison plans 
to change the design and optional features of its homes from time to time, 
just as the automobile companies change models, in order to incorporate 
new improvements and to vary the appearance of its homes. 




11-10 x 12-2 


bedroom r+???rnii-io" 

1 I 


n'-i0"x i3'-n" 


L 6 J O 

n'-io*xi7'-9" f LC °VE „ 

ll'-lG*x 9-10 


1 '''^TT^t" 1 BEDROOM I 


11 '-10*x 12'-2" 

ALCOVE ii'-io%i7'-9" 

ll'-lO x 9'-10 

^ lf-10% 13'-lT 

Facts and Figures About Gunnison Homes 

GUNNISON HOMES, INC., is one of the 
pioneers of the panel type of prefabrication. 
The company was organized in 1935 and has now- 
engineered its plant so that a new house is rolling 
off the assembly line every 25 minutes. The com- 
pany proved successful not only in its production 
methods but also in its plan of merchandising, 
and in 1944 U. S. Steel Corp. bought a majority 
interest in the concern. Plans are now afoot to set 
up other plants throughout the country and to 
organize sales on a nationwide basis. 

Models Offered 

At the present time Gunnison offers eight basic 
house plans, from the small size, measuring 28 feet 
by 24 feet and providing a living room, kitchen, 
bath, utility room and two bedrooms, to the large 
size 52 by 24 feet and having a 32 foot long living- 
dining room, kitchen, utility room, four bedrooms 
and two baths. Each of these eight basic houses 
is available in either a right or a left hand plan, 
so that you may have your living room on which- 
ever side of the lot you choose. In order to give 
variety to the appearances of its homes, Gunnison 
offers a wide selection of architectural treatment. 
For example, you may have shutters, window 
boxes, entrance hoods, wall or corner quoins, 
pilasters and plaques, or wrought iron entrance 
railing to add to the attractiveness of the exterior 
of your Gunnison home. As optional features at 
an additional price you can get a basement, fire- 
places, wings, porches, arcades and garages, 

Merchandising Methods 

Gunnison has set up a network of dealer or- 
ganizations, patterned after the dealerships of the 
auto industry. Most of these dealers are located 
in the middle west, but there are some in other 
parts of the country. You can ascertain- whether 
there is a representative in your community either 
by consulting the telephone directory or by mail- 
ing a postcard to the company's main office. 
These Gunnison dealers have been specially 
trained by the company and can be of consider- 
able assistance to you in determining many of the 
problems of home building. If you do not already 
own a lot, the dealer will assist you with the pur- 
chase of a suitable one. If you are not in a posi- 
tion to pay cash for the house, he will assist in 
the preparation of the application for a F.H.A. 
loan. As soon as the financing has been completed 
the dealer will begin the foundations for your 
new Gunnison Home. In about two or three 
weeks' time, he will present you with the keys to 

vour new home, everything completed from foun- 
dation up, with wiring, plumbing, bathroom, 
kitchen and heating equipment installed and even 
sidewalks, drives and landscaping completed. 

How Gunnison Houses Are Made 

The materials which go to make up the panels 
for a Gunnison home begin their course down 
the assembly line as raw lumber and thin veneer. 
The lumber passes through high speed saws to 
be converted into sturdy frames for walls, roof, 
ceiling or floor panels. These frames receive in- 
sulation and a vapor barrier against dampness, and 
then are carried along the conveyor belts to huge 
hot presses where several layers of hardwood ve- 
neer are welded permanently and securely to the 
frame with the newest phenolic resin. Each panel 
is a veritable box girder attaining a strength which 
is greater for its weight than steel. The panels are 
trimmed, sanded, painted on the exterior surface, 
and lacquered and polished on the inner wall. 
Windows and screens, doors and hardware are 
then installed to make the panels complete. A 
light, honey-toned fir paneling is used on all in- 
terior walls and the floors are of grained quarter 
oak. The kitchen, bathroom, and utility room are 
finished in white and may be tinted in any color 


The utility systems are all completely installed 
and connected by Gunnison's dealer-crews be- 
fore the house is turned over to you. In the kitch- 
en two large wall cabinets and a 12 foot sink 
cabinet with cupboards and drawers are supplied. 
The company also furnishes an electric range and 
a seven cubic foot refrigerator. The bathrooms 
have modern type built-in tubs, toilet, and lava- 
tory. A medicine cabinet, 2 soap dishes, 2 towel 
rods, and certain other minor equipment are also 
included. Fluorescent tubular lights flank the med- 
icine cabinet mirror. Either linoleum or a special 
waterproof floor finish is applied on kitchen and 
bathroom floors. A forced air heating unit is sup- 
plied in the appropriate size for each home. There 
are overhead lights in the bathroom, kitchen, and 
utility rooms, but in all other rooms such fixtures 
have been eliminated in favor of numerous floor 
plugs for indirect lighting. 


Gunnison Homes sell from $6,000 for the small- 
est size to $10,000 for the largest size on a com- 
pletely erected and equipped basis. 



Produced by 


Houses Division 
Port Washington, Wisconsin 

ch of the four Harnischfeger Homes shown have the same basic 
3r plan, but are varied by the application of different exterior wall 
face materials and individual architectural treatment. The basic 
sign offers a well-planned, compact interior arrangement, with 
od-sized ? well-lighted rooms, and convenient closet space. Plans 
wide for a full basement and attic space for storage or for extra 



9'x 14' 







10'x 12' 



12'x 8' 

1 _ 


i i 


12'x 12' 

Facts and figures About Harnischfeger Homes 

and established company in an industry quite 
unrelated to the housing field, having manufac- 
tured and sold such industrial equipment as over- 
head cranes, electric hoists, arc welding equip- 
ment, motors and excavators for more than a half 
century. During the depth of the depression, the 
company organized a staff of engineers to consider 
methods for the factory construction of low cost 
housing employing some of the cranes, hoists, 
welders, and other equipment which they pro- 
duced and had readily available. In 1935 the 
Houses Division was organized with architects, 
housing experts and engineers on the staff. Since 
that time several thousand housing units have 
been produced. Some of these have been perma- 
nent, privately owned homes, while others have 
been of the temporary, wartime variety. 

Number of Models 

Harnischfeger produces only two basic models, 
with six variations as to exterior design and archi- 
tectural treatment. The WH series, illustrated on 
the preceding pages, offers four exteriors based on 
a basic plan which is 34' 3" by 24' 3" in overall di- 
mensions and provides a living room, kitchen, two 
bedrooms, and a bathroom. The PW series is 
smaller in size, measuring 2 6' 3" by 3o'9", pro- 
vides a dining alcove off of the living room and 
features large window areas for abundant light and 
fresh air. Because of the shortage of materials, the 
PW series is not presently available. 

Method of Distribution 

Harnischfeger sells its houses only to well-estab- 
lished development builders or realtors who have 
been active in land development, financing, con- 
struction, and sale of one-family homes. At the 
present time the company limits its sales to an 
area within a 300 mile radius of its Port Wash- 
ington, Wisconsin plant. Deliveries are being 
made to dealers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan 
and Indiana and these local dealers develop the 
land sites, arrange for financing, erect, sell and 
service the homes. If you live in one of the four 
states presently served by Harnischfeger, you can 
ascertain the name of your local dealer by writing 
directly to the company's office at Port Washing- 
ton, Wisconsin. 

Material and Labor Supplied by the Factory 

Harnischfeger supplies the dealer-builder with 
about 65 per cent of the total labor and materials 
necessary to complete the basic structure. For the 
basement it supplies assembled cellar windows and 
frames, together with screens and hardware. For 

the floors it supplies joists, headers, trimmers, 
bridging, and ¥s inch plywood subflooring. These 
flooring materials are pre-cut to exact size, but 
are not assembled into panels or sections. Factory 
cut wood rafters and plywood sheathing are sup- 
plied for the roof and pre-cut joists, headers, trim- 
mers, and bridging for the ceiling are furnished 
ready for assembly at the site. Prior to the war the 
> company supplied welded steel frame sections for 
floor and ceiling construction, but wartime short- 
ages necessitated the substitution of pre-cut wood 
framing. When steel is again available for these 
uses, this type of construction will be resumed. 

The exterior walls and the interior partitions 
are made into assembled panels at the factory. The 
framework of wall panels is securely bonded with 
resin adhesives to heavy plywood sheathing on 
the exterior and to sanded plywood ready for 
decorating on the interior. A one-inch blanket of 
insulation and a vapor seal is inclosed within the 
panel. Glazed window sash, completely hung on 
balances and weatherstripped at the head, sides, 
and sill, are installed as a part of the panel. Parti- 
tions differ only in that they are not insulated and 
have sanded plywood on both sides ready for dec- 
orating. A special panel connection is used between 
units so that wallpaper or coated fabrics can be 
employed without any sectional appearance on the 
interior. Bevel siding, shingles, brick or stone 
veneer are applied over the exterior walls at the 

The company also supplies the basement and 
attic stairs knocked down and ready for assembly, 
kitchen cabinets assembled in sections, all inte- 
rior and exterior doors pre-fitted with locks and 
hinges, and all molding, trim, and hardware. 

Along with this panel and pre-cut material, 
Harnischfeger Corp. supplies its dealer-builders 
with complete architectural and engineering serv- 
ice. The builder receives complete erection draw- 
ings for each home and the assistance of a com- 
pany erection supervisor on the earlier jobs to as- 
sure that his crew is properly trained in the best 
methods of erection. 


Since the dealer-builder must prepare the site, 
build the foundation, furnish and install the 
plumbing, heating, wiring and fixtures and pro- 
vide the decorating, the price varies substantially 
according to local labor costs, the type of exte- 
rior treatment, and the fixtures included. The 
price range in Wisconsin of the completed homes 
with utilities installed and ready for occupancy has 
varied between $6,100 and $8,400, exclusive of 
the lot. In points more distant from the factory 
the price would be somewhat greater because of 
the increased transportation costs. 



Produced by 



112 West Ninth Street 
Los Angeles 15, California 

. One of the three sections of the roof being 6. Exterior view of the finished house at 

lowered into position. Cerrito, California. 

Interior view of living room. A more spacious effect and a sub- 
stantial saving in cost are achieved through the use of the roof line 
for the ceiling. When full mass production is achieved this house is 
expected to sell for about $2,000 complete! 



4 * 


1 J- J" « 9' 6" 










Facts and Figures About 

over a period of years, experimented with and 
developed a new and unique building material. It 
looks like concrete and has the strength of con- 
crete, yet it weighs only a third as much, nails can 
be driven into it, and it can be sawed and worked 
with carpenters' tools. It has excellent insulating 
qualities and can be made into a semiflexible form. 
This unusual material is known as "Plastikair Com- 
pound" and is produced by a patented formula by 
which chemicals, when mixed with Portland ce- 
ment and stone aggregate, cause the mixture to 
expand to several times its original volume, give 
it resiliency, and make it watertight. 

Having developed a new material, the Hayes 
Company worked out a technique for using it in 
the prefabrication of attractive, durable homes. 

How Econocrete Homes Are Built 

The walls, roofs, partitions, and sometimes the 
floors are molded in huge forms laid flat on the 
ground at the factory of casting yard. After the 
forms are carefully oiled, in order that the wall 
may be more easily removed after it dries, door 
and window frames and the conduits for wiring 
and plumbing are laid in their proper position. 
Bars of reinforced steel are crisscrossed at about 
12 inch intervals for added strength. Then con- 
crete mixers move into position and the special 
building compound is poured into the forms to 
a thickness of 2V2 inches. With three mixers an 
eight room house can be poured in approximately 
30 minutes. The panels are left to dry for two 
days and are then removed from the forms and 
stored in a file-like arrangement until they are 
transported to the site. 

The entire side of a house may be molded into 
a single section. Where two or more panels are 
used a special tongue and groove is molded into 
the panels so that they fit into each other at the 
joint. Corners also have special interlocking joints. 
Roof panels are set flush with each other and are 
made watertight by the use of an overlapping 
metal joint. The top surface of each wall panel 
is provided with threaded sleeves to receive bolts. 
These bolts are employed initially as lifting points 
in hoisting and later to hold the roof securely in 

Transportation and Erection 

The concrete sections are lifted aboard a truck 
or trailer at the plant and off again at the site by 
a portable crane. The foundation is prepared be- 
fore the house is delivered, and may provide a 
basement if the purchaser so desires. The floors, 
of heavy, insulated compound, may be cast in 
place as one large slab at the site or made in sec- 
tions at the factory and transported to the site. 

Hayes Econocrete Homes 

Since the special material used has a greater resil- 
iency than ordinary concrete, it is more comfort- 
able for floors, but if the idea of having floors made 
of this material is distasteful to you, hardwood or 
linoleum may also be used. 

Once the foundation and floors are in place, the 
truck crane begins to lift the wall, partition and 
roof panels off of the truck and into place. A mor- 
tar or grout is placed between the foundation wall 
and the exterior walls and between the walls and 
the roof sections in order to weld these sections 
together permanently. The corners where the 
walls join are finished with a cement gun which 
fills the open corners and imbeds the reinforced 
steel rods that were left protruding from each of 
the precast wall slabs. 

Since erection is done for the most part by 
mechanical means, it can be accomplished in a 
very short time. In a test conducted in March 1945 
for the benefit of Life Magazine photographers, a 
two bedroom house was completely erected and 
made ready for occupancy by a crew of thirteen 
men in thirty-four minutes' time. This included 
making all plumbing installations and gas, water 
and electrical connections and moving in the furni- 
ture. Needless to say, this operation was an excep- 
tional one, but it demonstrates the speed which 
can be attained by the Hayes method of construc- 

Method of Distribution 

The Hayes Company is exclusively an engineer- 
ing and licensing organization, and not a construc- 
tion and selling company. It licenses persons or 
firms throughout the country to set up their own 
plant and to manufacture and market the Hayes 
Econocrete prefabricated homes within a desig- 
nated territory. With the license goes the right to 
use all the processes, methods, formulas, tech- 
niques and the special lightweight concretes and 
compounds. The individual licensees draw up their 
own plans and designs of homes suitable to the 
part of the country which they serve. These plant 
operators will offer a varying number of houses for 
sale. Some concentrate on two or three models, 
others offer five or six styles. These are usually one 
story houses, although two story houses can be 
erected by this system. The local licensee usually 
serves a limited area, either part or all of a state, 
in order that the house may be economically trans- 
ported by truck from the factory to the site. He 
usually sells the homes directly to customers, al- 
though some sell through real estate brokers. 


Hayes Homes sell from about $4,500 for a com- 
pletely equipped two bedroom model to $8,000 
for the larger house shown on page 5 1 . 



Produced by 

1108 Commonwealth Avenue 
Boston, Massachusetts 

This Cape Cod cottage can be obtained in any one 
of several different floor plans, including the one 
shown below. All are well-designed and attractive in 
appearance. This particular model sells at about $3,000 
without utilities and equipment. 

A low rambling house with large, airy rooms and 
many unusual features, such as the arched service 
entryway, the main entry with its arched interior doors 
to the living and dining rooms, the powder room, and 
the built-in colonial cupboard. The kitchen and service 
quarters are effectively isolated from the rest of the 
house, and bedrooms are insulated by closets and pas- 
sageways against noise. Since the house is large in its 
overall dimensions it requires a good-sized lot to pro- 
vide it with an appropriate setting. 

* / 


Facts and Figures About Hodgson Homes 

IT HAS been more than half a century since 
E. F. Hodgson built a small factory at Dover, 
Massachusetts, and began to make houses, camps 
and buildings of various kinds in panel sections, 
which could be erected quickly withqut sawing or 
nailing. Since 1892 Hodgson houses have been 
sold and erected in all parts of the United States 
and in many foreign countries. 


The Hodgson Company's method of operation 
differs from that of most prefabricators in that it 
does not have any set number of plans and designs 
from which you must choose. Instead it offers spe- 
cial panel sections in units consisting of walls, floor, 
roof, and ceiling. These units are 6 feet long, in 
varying widths of 12 feet, 18 feet, and 24 feet. 
There are hip and gable ends and a valley roof 
unit which can be used for L or T turns. With 
this combination of units you can create just about 
any plan you desire. If you want a house measuring 
24 feet by 30 feet, you would order 5 units, 6 feet 
by 24 feet, together with two 24 foot gables, one 
for each end of the house. You can order the win- 
dows or doors built into the wall panels at what- 
ever location you wish. Windows may be either 
double hung or casement type, and you can choose 
from among several different types of doors, 
porches, garages, bay windows, shutters and other 
architectural treatment. Thus just as your small 
son builds innumerable types of structures by vary- 
ing the arrangement of his building blocks, so you 
can become your own architect with almost limit- 
less possibilities. Furthermore, the Hodgson Com- 
pany's staff will assist you in preparing the plan 
which will best satisfy your individual requirements 
and come within your means. 

If you do not care to embark upon this adven- 
ture of designing your own house, Hodgson can 
furnish you with scores of plans similar to those 
shown on the preceding pages. 


The framework of Hodgson wall panels is made 
of red cedar and Oregon pine, covered on the ex- 
terior with a heavy waterproof fiber, and over this 
rabbeted red cedar clapboards are put on with gal- 
vanized nails. The interior walls are covered with 
¥2 inch Celotex Arctic board which serves as in- 
sulation and wallboard. The inner finish may be 
painted or papered as you prefer. The roofs are 
framed with pine, lined with fiber and either cov- 
ered with red cedar rabbeted boarding or with 
board sheathing and asphalt or red cedar shingles. 
Floors are constructed with spruce joists covered 
with clear Oregon pine or fir, sanded and shel- 

lacked. Grooved ledgers are connected to the floor 
sections and into each ledger is fitted a tongue on 
the side wall section, making a tight joint between 
floor and side wall. If you wish to pay the addi- 
tional charge, the company will furnish double 
boarded floors with a waterproof paper between 
boards. Ceilings consist of frames running across 
the rooms to form panels 3 feet by 6 feet. In these 
frames Arctic board panels are securely rabbeted. 
The ceilings are either 7 ¥2 or 8.V2 feet high. Be- 
fore the panels leave the factory they are painted 
three coats on the exterior and interior woodwork 
is stained walnut. 


The Hodgson Company operates offices at 
Dover, Massachusetts, Boston, and New York City. 
In all other parts of the country, negotiations and 
purchases are accomplished by direct correspond- 
ence with the main Boston office. If you live 
within 200 miles of Dover, shipment will prob- 
ably be made by truck, which is the most con- 
venient and the least expensive for short hauls. In 
areas more than 200 miles from the factory, ship- 
ment by rail or ship, if you live near the coast, is 
preferable. At the present time, the company has 
such a backlog of orders that deliveries are on a 
four month basis; in normal times, however, de- 
livery can be made within a week to ten days after 
an order is received. 


The Hodgson Company operates sales offices at 
$900 for a small studio, kitchen, and lavatory meas- 
uring just 12 feet by 18 feet to $19,000 for a 15 
room house with four baths, two porches and a 
connecting greenhouse. The prices of the three 
houses shown on the preceding pages are $6,566, 
$1,692, and $7,506 respectively. All prices are 
f o.b. the factory and you must pay the freight 

Extras You Will Have to Pay 

The price you pay for a Hodgson house does 
not include such items as excavation, foundation or 
basement, erection, heating, wiring and plumbing 
fittings and fixtures, window screens, shades, range, 
refrigerator and cabinets. It is not feasible to at- 
tempt any itemized estimate of the cost of these 
items in view of the fact that each Hodgson cus- 
tomer works out a separate and distinct design for 
his own home. Thus the cost of the basic home 
and the cost of these extras will vary accordingly. 
However, you can expect these extra items approxi- 
mately to double the price paid to the Hodgson 



Produced by 


Eugene, Oregon 

This little home, the smallest two bedroom house produced by the 
Horsley system, is constructed by the same methods and with the same 
quality materials as in the much larger and more expensive Johnson house 
shown on the opposite page: This house is designed to reach the buyers 
in the lower income, mass market. 

Above; The Philip Johnson home, completely prefabricated by the Horsley system in 
1940 and erected by workmen having no previous experience with prefabrication, was 
selected in 1945 as one of the most important modern structures. 

Below: The front of the Johnson 
house is entirely of glass, three 
round columns of laminated 
maple providing the support for 
the ceiling beams. It will be noted 
that the house faces south to ad- 
mit the warming rays of the winter 

Facts and Figures About Horsley Homes 

THE WORK underlying the construction activ- 
ities of Horsley Structures, Inc., was initiated 
by S. Clements Horsley, a well-known architect 
and pioneer in prefabrication methods, more than 
fifteen years ago. In the late 1920's Horsley began 
to evolve a new architectural philosophy built 
around materials and their uses. The basic premise 
of this philosophy was that architects must know 
the chemical and physical characteristics of mate- 
rials, and then let these characteristics dictate their 
use in construction. From this functional approach 
to architecture it was only a short step to a deep 
interest in industrialization processes and belt-line 
production methods. In 1932 Horsley was award- 
ed first prize in an architectural competition spon- 
sored by the Architectural League of New York, 
with a completely integrated, modern, prefabri- 
cated house. Horsley established an organization 
to evolve and perfect the system which he had 
developed, and since 1939 this organization has 
been operating as an incorporated company. Prior 
to the war the company had built many interesting 
and unusual homes, including some in the expen- 
sive, quality class. 

Number of Models 

The Horsley system contemplates the construc- 
tion of an alphabet of structural panels designed 
so as to be suitable for many types of structures. 
Thus, as our 26 letter alphabet can be formed into 
a million words, so these basic structural entities, 
factory produced in quantity, can be used to con- 
struct a thousand different buildings, from one 
story to many stories. Such a system provides 
flexibility and variety in both plans and products. 
It makes possible the construction of dormitories, 
churches, schools, airplane hangars, shops, theaters, 
and all types of farm buildings as well as private 
homes. In order not to spread its immediate opera- 
tions too thin, however, Horsley Structures is con- 
centrating its current production on seven differ- 
ent models of homes ranging from the smaller two 
bedroom unit pictured on page 60 to spacious 
three bedroom houses. Three of these homes are 
styled in a distinctly modern manner, while four 
follow more traditional design. All are planned to 
be used without a basement, utility rooms being 
provided in the larger houses. Detached or semi- 
detached garages or "carports" can be obtained as 
optional equipment. 

Construction and Erection 

Horsley homes are built by the panel method 
combined with a system of aligning members at 
the juncture of all planes. Each panel has a skele- 
ton structure or frame, covered on both sides by 
plywood. The plywood is pressure glued to the 

framework so that the surfaces of the panel work 
with the frame to form a box girder type of panel. 
This stress skin type of panel is the strongest struc- 
ture, weight for weight, of any known type of con- 
struction. It is made possible by the comparatively 
recent development of synthetic resin glues which 
produce waterproof plywood, and make possible 
the cold glueing of panels. Panels are assembled 
and glued in jigs as a belt-line product. Each panel 
has an interlocking edge on all four sides, and all 
are interchangeable. 

Panels come from the factory completely in- 
sulated and finished. When filled with fireproof 
mineral wool insulation, they will not sustain com- 
bustion, and will pass more than a one hour fire 
test under ASTM standards. 

At the juncture of all planes— floors with walls, 
ceiling with w r alls and roof with walls— there is an 
aligning beam which performs a twofold purpose: 
(a) it aligns all panels into a true plane, and (b) 
insures an accurate and tight joint between wall 
panels and the floor or roof. The aligning founda- 
tion beams are set in place first, and to these beams 
are interlocked the floor panels, which come to the 
building site completely finished with insulation, 
hardwood flooring and surface treatment. The 
walls also interlock with the foundation beam, and 
all panels are glued into place with the latest re- 
corcinal resin glue, pressured by the use of properly 
spaced screws. When the walls are up they are 
aligned by an eve beam which interlocks with the 
walls and with the ceiling panels. 

Interior and exterior wall surfaces may be of any 
color or natural wood finish. Paneling of the hard- 
woods, such as walnut, cost little more than 
painted surfaces so that even the lower priced 
homes may afford beautiful wood paneled walls. 
Special plastic treatment is pressed and baked into 
the wall surfaces after the panel has been fabri- 
cated. Upkeep and maintenance of surfaces are 
kept to a minimum for as much as ten or fifteen 
years by this special treatment. 


The company plans to merchandise the homes 
produced at its Oregon plant through dealers and 
department stores, and in some cases promotional 
developers. All of the parts for the basic shell of 
the house are shipped to the local distributor who 
assumes full responsibility for erection and the in- 
stallation of utilities. 


Horsley Homes are tentatively priced from 
$4,000 to $6,000, although uncertainties in the 
raw material market have prevented the establish- 
ment of a firm price schedule. 



Produced by 


j 270 Forty-First Street 

Brooklyn, New York 

A well-balanced design providing five large rooms and an attractive stair- 
way leading up from the living room to the attic, which can be finished 
to provide additional bedroom space. When the breezeway and garage 
are added, the overall length of the home is about 76 feet. 




| «*-lo">< ll'-IO" 

? 1 

a|U a*™ pn 


A smartly modern rambling low-roof model for a fair-sized plot. Main 
house is 62 feet long, and with the garage is 73 feet long, but is well de- 
signed to be placed lengthwise on a lot. A large living room forms the 
entire central portion of the house with glass area facing the patio. Ample 
windows on the*opposite side of the large living room assure light and 
cross ventilation. 

Facts and Figures About Johnson Homes 

THE JOHN A. JOHNSON CORP., with head- 
quarters at Brooklyn, N. Y., and affiliated mills 
located at Pemberton, N. J., Conway, S. C. and 
Johnson City, Tenn., has launched a large-scale 
postwar program for the production and sale of 
pre-assembled housing units. The company is no 
novice in the housing field having constructed sev- 
eral thousand wartime emergency housing units 
for the government, including many near the 
atomic bomb plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. 

Types of Houses 

At the present time it offers seven different 
models in both traditional and modern design. The 
plans for these homes are flexible. The purchaser 
who prefers a cellar can have it or the house can 
be constructed without a basement, having a util- 
ity and storage room on the ground floor. Further- 
more, many of these houses are planned with a 
view to future expansion to keep pace with in- 
creases in family or income. In one of the smaller 
houses, for example, the original closet space be- 
tween the two bedrooms can be easily transformed 
into a hallway leading to a new wing containing 
two additional bedrooms. 

Materials Supplied 

The Johnson Company supplies about 80 per 
cent of the materials which go into the completed 
shell of the house. Exterior wall panels of story 
height and the length of an entire room are pro- 
duced at the factory from 2x4 wood framing 
covered on the exterior by Vi inch fiberboard 
sheathing which also serves as insulation. Either 
wood siding or shingles are applied over this fiber- 
board. Windows and doors are installed, but the 
interior of the wall panels are not ordinarily fin- 
ished at the factory, being left open for the in- 
stallation of the electrical and plumbing systems 
at the site. Floor panels are also produced at the 
factory with i inch subflooring being securely 
nailed to the heavy, broad joists. Hardwood finish 
flooring is supplied, but to prevent scratching and 
denting is applied at the site after the rough con- 
struction work is completed. The roof rafters, 
sheathing and shingles are all furnished, but must 
be installed by usual hammer and saw methods at 
the site. 

Merchandising and Price 

In order that the public can see exactly what 
Johnson homes look like, this company has placed 
full-sized homes on display in department stores in 
some of our larger cities. John Wanamaker stores 
in Philadelphia and New York have each given 
over an entire floor to a little village comprised of 

several life-sized houses completely constructed, 
furnished and equipped. If no store in your com- 
munity sells these homes, you can order directly 
from the Johnson Company. The prices quoted on 
these semi-assembled houses range from $2,527 
for a two bedroom cottage to $6,136 for the spa- 
cious, modern design shown on page 65. These 
prices do not include many of the necessary costs 
in providing the finished home, as will be pointed 
out below, and it is necessary to double the quoted 
price to arrive at an approximation of the final cost 
of the house ready for occupancy. 

Additional Items to be Supplied by Purchaser 

Although Johnson Homes can be constructed 
with or without a basement, most of the plans 
call for large utility rooms on the first floor for the 
heating unit, water heater and laundry equipment, 
thus making a basement unnecessary. You will still 
have to provide a foundation for these houses to- 
gether with the anchor bolts which are embedded 
at the top of the foundation wall and the sill plate 
which is attached to the foundation. 

You will also have to pay the freight charges^on 
a Johnson Home from their nearest plant to your 
freight station and then have the materials trucked 
to the site. 

Since the factory-built panels are large, several 
men will be required to lift them into place. First 
the floor panels are assembled and nailed to the 
sill plate atop the foundation wall. Then the wall 
and partition panels are brought to their proper 
position on the floor panels and nailed to the floor 
framing and to each other. Ceiling joists are then 
strung across the walls and partitions, and the roof 
rafters, sheathing and shingles are put on. Finally, 
the finish hardwood flooring is laid over the sub- 
flooring installed at the factory. It is estimated that 
six carpenters could have the house shell com- 
pleted in about five days. The plumbing, wiring 
and heating systems and fixtures, the range, refrig- 
erator and kitchen cabinets must also be furnished 
and installed at purchaser's expense. After the 
utilities are roughed in an interior wall surface of 
lath and plaster or wallboard must be applied. If 
a fireplace is desired the material and labor for its 
construction must be supplied by the owner. 

After the house is completed, the exterior and 
interior will have to be painted and finished. A 
priming coat is put on the exterior walls at the 
factory, but all other painting and decorating is 
left up to the purchaser. The Devoe and Reynolds 
Paint Co. has printed a small brochure giving 
the paint specifications for these houses. 

Thus the total cost of a Johnson Home will 
range between $8,600 and $10,500 for the first 
two homes and $10,000 to $12,500 for the large 
modern style home shown on page 65. 



Produced by 

Longview, Texas 

Inner forms are placed upon their bases 
— door and window frames are set 
against the forms in desired sizes, num- 
ber and locations, and electrical con- 
duits, fuse boxes and room outlet boxes 
set in place. Reinforcing steel mesh is 
mounted and it's ready for the outer 

The Tournalayer, with outer form hoist- 
ed high in the air, backs up so that the 
rear wheels straddle the inner forms and 
suspends the outer form directly over- 

The electrically controlled hoists lower 
the outer form down over the inner form 
until it rests on the base. The Tourna- 
layer may be unhitched from the outer 
form, leaving the forms assembled and 
ready for concrete pouring. The Tourna- 
layer is then free to repeat this operation 
with other molds. One Tournalayer unit 
can service as many as twelve molds. 

Mixer moves in . . . begins pouring con- 
crete into top of each mold. Care is 
taken to see that concrete is worked 
closely around window and door frames. 
When walls and partition have been 
poured, the mixer continues to pour 
until roof is completed. The entire mold 
remains there until the concrete is ade- 
quately set. 

After the concrete has set sufficiently, a 
worker enters the inside of the chambers 

and by turning a crank, the walls of the 
inner mold come inward, away from the 
concrete. The Tournalayer backs up, 
straddles the mold, and hooks onto the 
outer form. The Tournalayer hoists the 
outer form, house and all, and starts trav- 
eling toward the building site. 

Approaching the building site, the form 
containing the house is carried directly 
over its permanent location which has 
been previously trenched out or leveled. 

The outer form containing house is now 
lowered into position. After positioning, 
a simple mechanical device moves the 
four sides of the outside form outward 
. . . clears the house all around. The 
mold is then hoisted to clear the top of 
the house, and the Tournalayer returns 
the mold to the central operating point 
for the next house. 


Here is an exterior view of one of the 
first Tournalaid homes completed at a 
development near Vicksburg, Missis- 
sippi, built for LeTourneau employees. 

Facts and Figures About the Tournalaid Homes 

THE LeTOURNEAU. CORP. for many years 
has been engaged in the deevlopment, manu- 
facture, and sale of various types of earth-moving 
machinery and equipment such as rooters, bull- 
dozers, and cranes. The president of this company 
had long been interested in the problem of better 
and cheaper housing and in 1936 the company be- 
gan to experiment wtih various methods for the 
factory production of homes for its workers. Its 
first home, of all steel welded construction, meas- 
ured 32 by 44 feet and included three bedrooms 
and a built-in garage. These houses were attractive 
and cheap, but they presented a real problem of 
delivery since they were entirely assembled at the 
plant and proved much too large to be hauled on 
the highway. Therefore, the company turned to 
other methods and finally developed the equip- 
ment for the construction of cast concrete dwell- 

Number of Models Ottered 

All LeTourneau Homes have the same basic di- 
mensions— 3 2'8" long by 24' wide. This does not 
mean, however, that all these houses are identical 
with respect to exterior appearance or interior ar- 
rangement. Openings for windows and doors can 
be arranged in any size, number or shape in any of 
the four walls. The front entrance and kitchen door 
may have a protecting hood or not according to 
your own preference. Inside the house doors or 
archways may be molded into the center concrete 
partition, and the other partitions can be con- 
structed according to a wide variety of plans. 

Construction Details 

The walls and center partition of the LeTour- 
neau house are 5 inches thick, but flare out at the 
bottom to 12 inches for foundation and bearing 
area. The walls are 10 feet high so that the house 
can be set into a trench almost 2 feet deep and still 
provide an 8 foot ceiling. Thus the house provides 
its own foundation. The roof is 8 inches thick at 
the outside and slopes in to the center from which 
a single drain buried in the concrete carries the 
rain water to the side of the roof. 

Floors may be either wood or concrete. Where 
concrete is used, several inches of gravel or cinders 
are first laid and tamped, then topped with a layer 
of felt to eliminate moisture. Over the concrete 

slab either tile, wood or linoleum floor surfacing 
may be employed. 

Window and door frames may be of either 
wood, steel or aluminum as desired and windows 
may be casement or double hung. Any standard 
door can be used. 

Partitions bear no weight so they may be of light 
frame construction covered with any type of wall- 
board or lath and plaster, according to your own 

Any type of heating equipment may be in- 
stalled, but radiant heating by hot water pipes or 
hot air conduits cast into the concrete or tile floor 
are recommended. This type of heating system is 
entirely out of sight and the heat rises evenly and 
healthfully from the entire floor surface. 

Method and Area of Distribution 

The LeT ourneau Company is not primarily in 
the business of manufacturing and selling prefab- 
ricated houses. It does manufacture and make 
available the "houselaying" machines which pro- 
duce the LeTourneau concrete home. In addition 
to the Tournalayer and the basic molds, the com- 
pany also produces a Tournamixer, which mixes 
up to 8 cubic yards of concrete at a time and ejects 
the concrete up to an elevation of 16 feet; and the 
Tournacrane, a specially designed crane for assem- 
bling molds and other heavy lifting jobs. These 
machines are leased to contractors and real estate 
development firms throughout the country and in 
foreign countries. 

Cost of a Tournalaid Home 

It is contemplated that with reasonable working 
conditions the monthly rental on the necessary 
machinery will cost the contractor somewhere be- 
tween $300 and $500 per house. To this initial 
cost must be added the cost of the 45 cubic yards 
of insulating concrete and 2,000 pounds of rein- 
forcing steel, doors and windows, partitions, in- 
stallation of electric conduit, a coat of waterproof- 
ing on the exterior, and painting and decorating on 
the interior. The cost of these additional items 
would increase the total price to approximately 
$1,500. Plumbing and fixtures, heating and fix- 
tures, kitchen cabinets, tile, linoleum or wood 
floors on the concrete, bookcases, a refrigerator and 
range would probably run the cost up to about 
$3,500 on a "ready for occupancy" basis. 



Produced by 

Bay City, Michigan 

The traditional lines of this five room house have been altered by the addition of 
an attractive front gable, an extended en try way, and such architectural treatment as 
Colonial shutters and window boxes. The floor plan is compact, with the bathroom 
conveniently located between the two bedrooms and handy to the stairway leading 
to the second floor where future bedrooms may be provided. The plan calls for a full 
basement to house the heating and laundry units and to provide additional storage 

This home provides five cozy rooms downstairs with space for two additional bed- 
rooms upstairs. The well-proportioned living room is amply lighted by the large studio 
window at the front and two regular-size windows at the side. The dinette arrange- 
ment with a wide curved archway into the living room affords a feeling of added spa- 
ciousness to both rooms and exemplifies the trend away from large, separate dining 

7'0"x 4'-Q" 

Facts and Figures About Liberty Homes 

of the pioneers in this field, employs the pre- 
cut method of prefabrication by which all the 
lumber is measured and cut to the exact length at 
the factory, ready to be fitted together by local 
workmen at the site. Detailed plans are furnished 
and each piece of lumber is numbered on the plans 
and a corresponding number stamped on the piece 
itself. Windows and doors are assembled at the 
factory and nails, hardware, paint, varnish, roofing 
and other materials are included. 

Number of Models and Pikes 

There are thirty-two different one and two story 
Liberty homes supplied by the Lewis Company at 
prices ranging from $1,200 to $3,700. These 
homes are ordered from an attractive mail-order 
catalogue, sold for twenty-five cents by the com- 
pany, which contains pictures and floor plans of 
each of the homes it offers. As soon as your order 
is received, the company's architectural depart- 
ment sends you detailed working blueprints and 
complete instructions on how to build the founda- 
tion—either with or without a basement. 

Transportation and Election 

The materials for your house are sent from the 
factory at Bay City, Michigan, to your local freight 
station. If you live east of the Mississippi River 
and north of Kentucky and Virginia, the Lewis 
Company will pay the entire freight charges. If 
you live farther south or west, you must bear the 
freight charges for the additional distance. The 
materials are specially loaded in a sealed boxcar 
with studs, rafters, sheathing, siding, etc. being 
stacked together. You will have to pay the expense 
of unloading the freight car and transporting the 
material from the railroad siding to the building 

Since all the measuring and sawing is done by 
machinery at the factory, you are spared these 
time-consuming operations, and the erection can 
be accomplished in a shorter period with a sub- 
stantial saving in labor costs. One story houses can 
be erected by three men in approximately three 
weeks; two story homes require from three to 
five weeks. 


Many of the Liberty house plans show fireplaces 
at the locations which are considered best by the 
architects employed by the Lewis Company. How- 
ever, the materials for fireplaces and chimneys are 
not included and the ultimate decisions as to 
whether or not the house is to have a fireplace and 
where the chimney is to be located are left to the 
purchaser. The high cost of shipping heavy ma- 
sonry materials such as bricks and cement for long 

distances make it impractical to include these 
materials with the Liberty home units, and the 
home buyer must secure these materials from a 
local mason supply dealer. The cost of materials 
and labor will probably be between $200 and 
$300, depending upon the size and design of fire- 
place and chimney and the labor costs at the place 
of construction. 

Utility Systems 

Before the house is completed, the plumbing, 
electrical and heating systems must be installed. 
The Lewis Company does not include any of these 
materials or fixtures with their homes. A complete 
kit containing all the electrical material necessary 
for the wiring of any one of their homes can be 
purchased as optional equipment from the com- 
pany at an additional price. The ultimate cost 
will depend upon the type and number of fixtures 
and the number of outlets installed, but your out- 
lay for an electrical system will probably amount 
to at least $200 and perhaps as much as $500. 

The installation of your plumbing system in- 
cluding a sink, lavatory, bathtub, toilet, hot water 
heater and laundry will undoubtedly cost a great 
deal more. Expect to pay between $600 and 
$1,000 for the plumbing item in your building 
budget and give yourself and your plumber plenty 
of time to obtain the necessary equipment. A 
warm air heating system will add an additional 
$300 to $500 and steam or hot water systems are 
more expensive. 

Lath and Plaster or WaJJboard 

After the utilities are roughed in, the house 
must be insulated, the interior walls lathed and 
plastered or covered with wallboarding. Insula- 
tion of the house will cost between $200 and $300 
and the material and labor for either lath and 
plaster or wallboard interior, finish will amount to 
an additional $350 to $500. 

After construction of the house is completed 
and the utilities installed, the house must be 
painted, the interior decorated, and the floors 
sanded and finished. Paint for the exterior and 
stain and varnish for interior trim are supplied by 
Lewis Company. The labor for painting and finish- 
ing the interior is likely to amount to between 
$300 and $500. Additional items, such as a refriger- 
ator, range, and cabinets will probably add another 

Price for Finished House 

Thus, the approximate cost, exclusive of the lot, 
of a completed Liberty home such as those shown 
on the preceding pages would be between $5,000 
and $8,000 for the one story models, and between 
$7,000 and $10,000 for two story homes. 



Produced by 


Marion, Virginia 

The house pictured above is one of several five room units constructed early in 1946 
in Virginia. These homes have been occupied since their erection and have proved 
wholly satisfactory. This model has recently been replaced by a larger five room design 
with an L shaped floor plan. 

Below: The interior of one of the early Lincoln Homes. 

This attractive nine room home provides many features not generally obtained in 
houses costing under $10,000. It provides two bathrooms, three bedrooms, an office 
or den, a 26 foot living room, a large separate dining room, and a full-size kitchen. 
The unique dining terrace with its plastic tube trellis and corrugated glass shield 
gives the house added distinction. 

Facts and Figures About Lincoln Homes 

THE LINCOLN house embodies a new and 
unique process, developed during the war, for 
making a structural material at a low cost. This 
process was developed by Lincoln Industries for 
use in radar housings on war planes and most of 
the army and navy requirements were filled by this 
company. The experience and research necessary in 
constructing these materials to comply with strict 
government strength and weight requirements pro- 
vided a helpful background when the firm turned 
to experimenting in the production of house mate- 
rials at the end of the war. 

A New Material— Expanded Structural Plastic 

Lincoln plastic panels are made by alternating 
sheets of heavy paper, cloth, or glass cloth with 
glue strips. When the desired thickness is ob- 
tained, the sheets are expanded on an automatic 
machine to form a honeycomb pattern. This honey- 
comb core is thoroughly impregnated with high- 
strength phenolic resin and then bonded between 
facing sheets of aluminum alloy, and the entire 
panel sealed with a vapor barrier. 

Tests conducted by independent laboratories 
show that this material provides both great strength 
and high insulating properties. The roof panels 
have a tested bearing capacity sufficient to with- 
stand an 8 foot snow load. The bearing capacity of 
the wall panels compares favorably with the load 
carrying capacity of a brick wall one foot thick. 

Insulating values were obtained by a special test 
made by governmental agencies in June 1946 for 
the National Housing Administration. A 3 inch 
Lincoln panel was found to permit only one fifth 
the thermal transmittance of a- 12 inch concrete 
wall, one third that of an 8 inch brick or cinder 
block wall, and substantially less than a 7 inch 
frame wall, and was adjudged adequate, without 
the use of separate insulating material, in all cli- 
mates where a low winter temperature of 20 de- 
grees below zero obtains. The material has remark- 
able insulating properties with respect to sound as 
well as heat and cold, and is impervious to dry rot, 
internal condensation, termites and other destruc- 
tive forces. 

How the Lincoln House is Built 

The plastic-paper core between aluminum sheets 
is made into panels 4 feet wide, 8 feet high, and 
either 2 or 3 inches in thickness. Large single pane 
windows which give an uninterrupted view are 
built into the panels at the factory. The large win- 
dows at the front are fixed, and screened louvers 
inserted in the wall panels supply controlled ven- 
tilation. The windows in the rear are of the case- 
ment type opening outward on metal slides. Doors 
are of panel construction employing the new mate- 

rial with a thin wood veneer which gives them a 
natural, solid-wood appearance. The doors weigh 
only 7 pounds as contrasted with an average 20 
pounds of a solid-wood door. The foundation of 
the house is cinder block, concrete, or any other 
standard masonry construction. The floor consists 
of a concrete slab poured over a metal grill, with 
tile, linoleum or wood finished flooring laid over it. 

Heat is supplied by a special unit installed be- 
neath the floor. The house is heated both by radi- 
ation from the heated concrete floor and by con- 
vection through conveniently placed registers. This 
method of heating is inexpensive, and does not 
encroach upon the living space in the house. 

Roof panels are 3 inches in thickness, employing 
a protective cap mold over the sealed joints. A V4 
inch slope for every 4 feet allows the roof to be- 
come automatically self-cleaning. 

Paint of any desired color can be baked on the 
panels at the factory, and these surfaces can be 
washed and waxed in the same manner that a car 
is cleaned. Interior walls may be painted, papered 
or covered with veneer, 

Manufacture and Erection 

At present Lincoln Houses, Inc. is turning out 
only a limited number of these homes at its pilot 
plant at Marion, Virginia, but within the next few 
months several of the larger airplane factories will 
begin production under the Lincoln process. Since 
the new material is lightweight and easily trans- 
ported, distribution will probably be nationwide! 
Erection is extremely simple, and can be accom- 
plished in about two days by the local Lincoln 

Number of Models 

The basic house contains two bedrooms, bath, 
living room, kitchen, dining room and general 
utility room. The design makes provision for the 
convenient addition of another bedroom, and 
other optional features, including a garage, porch, 
sleeping porch, and fireplace. There is also a stand- 
ard three bedroom house, and, for the immediate 
future, construction of Lincoln Homes as a part 
of the Veteran's Emergency Housing Program will 
be confined to these two plans. Ultimately a wide 
variety of homes will be produced. 


The price of the basic two bedroom house will 
be in the $3,500 to $4,000 range. This includes 
heating unit, installation of electrical and plumb- 
ing fixtures, as well as erection on the home site. 
The price does not include the site itself, nor the 
kitchen range, refrigerator, or hot water heater. 
The three bedroom house will cost about $4,500. 


Produced by 


Lafayette, Indiana 

An efficient one floor plan arrangement available in any one of four attractive ex- 
teriors of traditional architectural design. The basement is eliminated in this model 
and mechanical equipment, utility, and working conveniences are provided for in the 
first floor utility room. The bedrooms have roomy, ceiling-height closets and built-in 
chests of drawers. 

In this model the utility, heating, and mechanical equipment are located in the full- 
sized basement provided by this plan. With this exception the floor plan is identical 
with the one shown on the preceding page, yet the architectural treatment is varied 
so as to give a wholly different exterior appearance. The small gable has been placed 
at the center of the house and the entrance is of a different style. Wide bevel siding 
on the front of the house and the addition of a small front terrace have further 
altered the appearance of the house. 

Facts and Figures About National Homes 

NATIONAL HOMES CORP. was founded in 
1940, with assets of over a million dollars 
and a large, modern plant especially designed for 
the mass production of prefabricated homes. In 
the past five years National Homes has built and 
distributed more than 10,000 houses from this 
plant at Lafayette, Indiana. The company has a 
capacity of more than 7,500 homes per year under 
three shift operation, but because of the present 
shortages in many basic building materials, the 
current production amounts to only 40 houses 
per week. 


National Homes are manufactured in five basic 
floor plans, which may be had in nine different 
traditional designs. All five basic houses are avail- 
able in either right or left hand plans, so that you 
may locate the living room side of the house on 
either side of your lot according to your own 
preference. These homes range from two bed- 
rooms, living room, kitchen, bath, and utility room 
with overall measurements of 24 feet by 28 feet 
to a three bedroom house with a large living room, 
bath, kitchen, and basement having overall meas- 
urements of 24 by 36 feet. The ceiling height in 
all homes is 8 feet. 


National Homes are constructed by the panel 
method of prefabrication with full room -size panel 
sections being completely manufactured at the fac- 
tory. The 2x3 framing studs are spaced 16 inches 
on center and to this frame a special Vs inch water- 
proof plywood is securely fastened to form the ex- 
terior surface of the wall. Since this plywood is a 
finished product, no further exterior surface mate- 
rial is required, although weatherboarding or 
shingles are sometimes applied over this plywood 
in order to provide variation in design and appear- 
ance. The interior walls are covered with Vk inch 
interior grade plywood, being both glued and 
nailed to the studding. The exterior and interior 
surfaces of the wall panels receive a prime coat of 
clear sealer at the factory before shipment. All 
doors and windows are hung and installed in the 
room-size panels, and are completely trimmed, 
glass installed, and weatherstripped with copper 
and aluminum weatherstripping before leaving the 

One of the outstanding features of National 
Homes construction is the incorporation of steel 
columns, beams and bar joists for structural floor 
framing. This means that in these homes, you have 
rigid, well-anchored steel rather than wood sup- 
porting your floor— a new and desirable innovation 

in home construction. Across the steel joists are 
laid the. oak floor sections, with subfloor and inter- 
mediate cross joists. These are securely fastened to 
the steel joists with special designed clips at 16 
inch intervals. 

Ceiling and roof are also of panelized construc- 
tion, made of heavy plywood over 2x4 joists and 
rafters. The gable ends, it will be noted, are not 
made of plywood, but are formed of vertical siding 
for architectural variation. 

Other Materials Furnished 

In addition to the large panels which form the 
floor, walls, ceiling, and roof of a National Home, 
the company supplies without additional charge 
a good many extras not included in all prefabri- 
cated homes. Bedrooms are supplied with built-in 
chest units completely assembled with four draw- 
ers. The closets are provided with shelves,, poles 
and hooks. Combination storm and screen doors 
are provided for all exterior entrances and half 
screens are furnished for all windows. The double 
hung type windows are all of lightweight alumi- 
num construction, which is becoming increasingly 
popular for new homes. The company supplies 
Slater's felt and 210 lb. asphalt shingles in a vari- 
ety of colors to be applied at the site. Two 36 by 
36 inch wall cabinets and a 60 inch combination 
base and sink cabinet, two corner shelves and a 
china storage closet are supplied as well as such 
decorative items as long or short shutters and flow- 
er boxes. 


Although many National Homes have been 
shipped as far as 800 miles from the Lafayette, 
Indiana plant, the company plans to restrict its 
sales, for the most part, to a radius of about 300 
miles, which would include the middle west states 
of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and 
Wisconsin. Within this area National Homes are 
distributed through authorized dealers who have 
been selected and trained to assist you in selecting 
a suitable home and then to handle all of the de- 
tails of erection on the site. If you live within the 
area served by National Homes, the company will 
be glad to advise you of the name and address of 
the dealer nearest you. 


The price range of these homes is between 
$4,950 for the two bedroom house to $6,200 for 
the three bedroom house. This price is for the 
completed home ready for occupancy. 



Produced by 

Blue Rock and Turrill Streets 
Cincinnati 23, Ohio 

During 1946, production is being limited by the Pease Company to a four room, 
Cape Cod Colonial home, the plan of which is shown below. Two bedrooms are 
provided on the first floor and the attic can be finished into a large bedroom. The 
exterior of this house, as shown above, may be substantially altered by the addition 
of dormers, porches' vestibules and garages, and the use of shingles, brick or stone 
veneer instead of bevel siding. 


Careful examination of the two houses pictured here reveals that they have the 
same basic exterior arrangement, yet the use of different types of surface covering, 
doors and shutters and contrasting color schemes has effectively concealed their kin- 
ship. The addition of the open porch (above) and the arcade and attached garage 
(below) adds to the dissimilarity of the two houses. 

Facts and Figures About Peaseway Homes 

the mill work supply business for more than a 
half century. In 1939 the four Pease brothers, who 
had inherited the business from their father, be- 
came interested in the prefabrication of houses 
and set up a small experimental plant early in 
1940. The fifty homes manufactured that year 
were widely distributed in order to obtain the re- 
action of a number of builders operating in differ- 
ent areas. Since the reaction was favorable, the 
company decided to expand its facilities and pur- 
chased a large plant in Hamilton, Ohio. This plant 
has a capacity of about 2,500 houses per year on 
one-shift operation. 

Number of Models 

Before the war twenty-four different floor plans 
were available ranging from four rooms and bath 
on one floor to a two story house with six rooms 
and two baths. Some of these homes are shown 
on the preceding pages. The plans were flexible in 
arrangement so as to be adaptable to lots of differ- 
ent sizes and shapes, and variable as to exterior ap- 
pearance through the use of either bevel siding, 
stained wood shingles, asbestos shingles, brick 
veneer or stone facing, and a wide choice of archi- 
tectural treatment. However, in an effort to com- 
ply with the spirit of the reconversion housing pro- 
gram and obtain maximum production of mod- 
erately priced homes, production is being limited 
this year to the four room, Cape Cod Colonial 
house shown on page 84. There is a variety of ap- 
pendages which may be added to this house, such 1 
as dormers, porches, vestibules and garages, to vary 
the exterior and prevent a stereotyped appearance. 

How Peaseway Homes are Built 

One of the unique contributions of this com- 
pany is a new splined connection to join plywood 
sheets together without visible joints. The wall sec- 
tions are made of these room-size plywood panels 
bonded and nailed to standard 2x4 framework. 
A layer of waterproof paper is placed over the ex- 
terior plywood sheathing and held in place by Vs 
inch thick furring strips running from top to bot- 
tom of the panel. After the prefabricated super- 
structure has been erected at the site, the exterior 
wall surfaces are covered with bevel siding or other 
suitable material. There is no special insulation 
material placed in the side walls since there are 
two air spaces (one between the inner plywood 
wall and the exterior plywood sheathing and the 
second between the sheathing and the siding ) . The 
openings for windows and doors are cut in the 
wall panels at the factory, but installation is not 
made until erection. 

The floors are made into sections 4 feet wide and 
full-room length. These sections consist of 2 x 3 
sub-joists, 5/16 inch plywood subflooring and 1 x 
4 pre-finished oak flooring. A layer of waterproof 
paper is placed between the oak flooring and the 
plywood subflooring. In the kitchen and baths, a 
heavier plywood is employed and this is covered 
with linoleum. 

The ceilings consist of plywood nailed and glued 
to 1 x 3 rib strips to form panels which are nailed 
to the ceiling joists at the site. Roof rafters and 
sheathing are pre-cut to exact size to be assembled 
at the site. Kimsul insulation, Slaters felt and 
210 lb. asphalt shingles in a choice of colors also 
are furnished. 

Windows are supplied in completely assembled 
units hung on adjustable sash balances and com- 
plete with weatherstripping ready to be installed in 
the wall panels. Doors are prefltted to size and cut 
for the installation of hardware. Molded trim is 
pre-cut to exact size and carton packed to assure 
against injury en route. 

Other Materials Furnished 

The company supplies a 66" white enameled 
steel kitchen double-bond sink cabinet with swing- 
ing faucet and spray attachment, a 21" x 84" 
utility unit, three wall cabinets, and an electric 
ventilating fan. For the bathroom a white enam- 
eled medicine cabinet with plate glass mirror and 
polished chromium accessories are furnished. 
Screens for all windows and doors are supplied. 

Method of Distribution 

Peaseway homes are sold only through author- 
ized dealers located in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, 
Illinois, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The dealer 
prepares the site, constructs the basement and 
foundation, erects the house, arranges with the 
purchaser as to the type of plumbing and heating 
equipment desired, the selection of wallpaper, 
paint and other decorations, installs the utilities, 
and prepares the house for occupancy. The dealer's 
crew is trained by a Pease supervisor and can put 
the home under roof in one day. The installation 
of the plumbing, heating and wiring and the paint- 
ing, papering and decorating ordinarily can be com- 
pleted within a period of two or three weeks. 


The price of the Peaseway home now being 
constructed varies according to the type of equip- 
ment selected by the purchaser, but with full 
equipment usually ranges between $6,000 and 



Produced by 

1011 East Channel Street 
Stockton, California 

A straightforward ranch type house with a board-and-batten exterior. 
The extended roof line provides a spacious veranda almost 50 feet in 
length. The house has no basement, being heated by a modern, dual- wall 
furnace and having a special closet for the water heater and other utility 

This home is built around a lovely patio suitable for a multitude of uses. 
It can serve as a study, a play room, a dining room, or for just plain loafing 
and relaxing. Three principal rooms— the master bedroom, the living 
room, and the kitchen-breakfast nook— overlook and share the privacy ot 
this sheltered bit of the out-of-doors. The house also has a well-balanced 
and pleasing exterior with an unusual recessed entranceway providing the 
primary point of interest. 

Facts and Figures About Precision Homes 

THE PRECISION HOMES CO. and its affili- 
ate, Central Lumber Co., have been in the 
prefabrication business for about eight years, and 
produced and sold several hundred homes prior to 
our entry into the war. Thereafter the company 
entered into the emergency housing program, and 
prefabricated the interesting Francesca Terrace 
project at Benicia, California. Precision Homes has 
large production capacity, and plans to produce 
about two thousand homes in 1947. 

Number of Models 

Before the war the company featured custom- 
built homes constructed in the Precision Homes 
factory to the exact specifications of the customer 
and his architect. This made possible the widest 
variety in design of the homes produced, but, since 
each job was a separate entity having no relation 
to the others, maximum speed and efficiency could 
not be achieved. In co-operation with the Veter- 
an's Emergency Housing Program, current pro- 
duction is limited to three basic one floor models 
providing either two or three bedrooms. Each 
model can be obtained in a right hand or left hand 
plan and in different elevations and styles, so that 
a good deal of variety in appearance can be 
achieved. Breezeways, arcades, porches, attached or 
detached garages, shutters, window boxes, and 
other architectural treatment are supplied as op- 
tional equipment. 

Materials and Construction 

The Precision Homes method of wall construc- 
tion consists of 4 by 8 foot panels, studded 16 
inches on center, with double studs occurring 
every 4 feet when assembled, to form a structure 
of post and girder design. Exterior-grade plywood 
is both glued and nailed to outside walls for 
stressed skin construction, by which the plywood 
carries a portion of the building load. It has been 
demonstrated by tests conducted at the U. S. For- 
est Products Laboratory, that this stress skin type 
of construction has far greater relative rigidity and 
strength than conventional methods of on-the-site 
construction. The interior of the Precision panels 
is covered with gypsum board which may be either 
painted or papered, as desired by the ultimate pur- 

Floors may be either of two types furnished by 
the company. The first type consists of a heavy con- 
crete slab foundation with asphalt tile flooring laid 
over the concrete. The second is an all- wood floor 
structure of regular floor panels with hardwood 

flooring in all principal rooms. Linoleum or tile is 
supplied for bathroom and kitchen. Ceilings and 
roofs are also constructed by the panel method. 
Asphalt shingles, wood shingles, or built-up com- 
position roofing are also furnished and applied after 
the house has been erected at the site. Wood in- 
terior and exterior doors and wood-framed case- 
ment windows are installed in the wall panels at 
the factory and are complete with glass and hard- 
ware. Window and door screens and window blinds 
are all furnished by the company. 

In addition to the basic superstructure of the 
house, Precision Homes supplies most of the equip- 
ment used in the home. Either a BX or Romex 
wiring system is installed at the site together with 
lighting fixtures in the hall, bedrooms, dining 
room, kitchen, bath and utility room and numer- 
ous plug-in receptacles at convenient locations in 
the living room. All plumbing, bathroom fixtures, 
including such minor items as a medicine cabinet, 
towel rods, soap dishes, paper holders, etc., the 
kitchen sink, laundry trays and a gas fired hot water 
heater are furnished and installed. Wood kitchen 
cabinets cover one entire wall of the long kitchen 
in each of these homes. A gas fired floor furnace 01 
a wall panel ray are also included as standard heat- 
ing unit for these homes. 

Distribution and Erection 

Precision Homes serves only the state of Cali- 
fornia, and concentrates a large part of its distribu- 
tion in the San Joaquin Valley. Because it confines 
its operation to this limited area, it is able to deal 
directly with many of its customers. It also em- 
ploys dealer representatives who distribute Pre- 
cision Homes in areas not served by the company 
itself. Either the company or its dealer will assume 
full responsibility for the complete erection, in- 
stallation of utilities, and decorating according to 
the customer's own color scheme. Under normal 
conditions delivery can be made in approximately 
two weeks after receipt of an order and erection 
completed in from three to four weeks. At present 
lack of certain materials makes the delivery sched- 
ule indefinite. 


The price range of PH houses is from $4,000 
for the small two bedroom house to $9,000 for the 
large three bedroom house with garage and other 
architectural treatment. All prices cover erection, 
decoration, utility systems, and all normal equip- 
ment except a refrigerator and kitchen range. 



Produced by 

• 734 N. E. 55th Avenue 
Portland 13, Oregon 

Aside from the attractive modern styling of Prenco Homes, their 
spaciousness and generous storage facilities make them noteworthy. 
Few new homes, for example, which sell today in the $6,000 price 
class can boast a living room having dimensions as large as the 18 feet 
by 18 feet offered by this home. Six closets for wearing apparel, two 

for sweepers, mops, card tables and 
other household items, a linen 
closet, and two storage rooms pro- 
vide a good deal more and better 
storage space than is to be found 
in most present-day houses in the 
same price range. 

The large, carefully planned, well-lighted kitchen and connecting laundry room, 
as shown in the floor plan below, will have strong appeal to women. Wall storage 
cabinets are indicated by the dotted lines over the sink, range and laundry trays. The 
main entrance to the house may be at the side, as shown in this house, or at the front, 
as illustrated on the opposite page. Prenco offers a choice of ten different designs of 
entrance treatment. 

Facts and Figures About Prenco Homes 

CO. was organized in 1937 by the C. D. 
Johnson Corp., a large northwest lumber com- 
pany, to develop the sectional system of prefabri- 
cation which had been introduced, just a short 
time before, by the Tennessee Valley Authority. 
The headquarters of Prenco are located in Port- 
land, and it has plants in that city and in Toledo, 
Oregon. During the war the company entered into 
the emergency housing program and produced a 
large number of dwelling units. With the end of 
hostilities it reconverted its plants to the produc- 
tion of the larger and more attractive peacetime 
homes. Due to the critical shortages of raw mate- 
rials, production was limited in 1946 to a few hun- 
dred units, but the projected production for 1947 
is about three thousand homes. 

Contemporary Style and Design 

Most prefabricates have made substantial con- 
cessions to the past by designing their houses in 
the architectural styles which were in vogue a cen- 
tury and a half ago. They employ pitched roofs 
(although they cost more and often serve no useful 
purpose) and such unusable appendages as decora- 
tive shutters, false dormers, plaques and pilasters 
and corner quoins. Not so with Prenco. Its homes 
are styled in the contemporary manner which is 
receiving increasing acceptance, particularly on the 
west coast. The savings achieved by the elimina- 
tion of the pitched roof and unused appendages of 
traditional architecture are used to increase the 
size of the house itself. The two bedroom house, 
for example, measures 26 1 '8" by 32' as compared 
with the 24' by 28' dimensions common in so 
many of the small two bedroom bungalows being 
built throughout the country today. This extra 
width and length add substantially to the floor 
area and to the spaciousness and comfort which 
the home affords. The three bedroom unit is 
26 ; 3" by 40', having well over 1000 square feet 
of floor space. 

Prenco offers nine different models of homes. 
Four floor plan modifications of each type house 
satisfy various orientations which may be neces- 
sary because of the topography, direction or view. 
Four exterior color selections provide further vari- 
ety in exterior appearance. 

How Prenco Homes Are Made 

Over 95 per cent of the work of constructing, 
erecting, and equipping Prenco homes is accom- 
plished before the house sections leave the factory. 
Each section is 2 6' 8" long, 8 feet wide, and 9 feet 
high, and comes complete with floors, walls, roofs, 
windows, doors, wiring, plumbing and heating. It 
will be noted, by reference to the scale drawings on 
the preceding pages, that the houses are carefully 

planned so that the joints between sections fall at 
window or door openings or at partitions so as to 
be invisible on either the exterior or the interior. 
The bath, heater room and kitchen sink are located 
within one section so that the plumbing and heat- 
ing systems can be connected at the plant. 

The walls of the house are of waterproof ply- 
wood bonded on Douglas fir framing. The doors 
are of the flush panel type, with the exception of 
the kitchen door which is glazed. Windows in the 
living room, dining room and bedrooms have large 
fixed center panes with top and bottom ventilators. 
The bathroom, laundry and kitchen windows are 
double hung. 

Prenco homes are fully insulated in walls, floors, 
and roof with aluminum foil insulation and at 
windows and doors with metal weatherstripping. 
Screens for windows and doors are also provided. 
Linoleum is furnished and installed in all rooms 
and the company does all the painting, varnishing, 
and papering. All bathroom fixtures and acces- 
sories, a 20 or 30 gallon automatic gas or electric 
hot water heater, a two compartment Briggs kitch- 
en sink, a complete complement of kitchen cabi- 
nets and an automatic forced warm air heating 
unit are supplied and installed. Nonmetallic 
sheathed cable is used for the wiring system, with 
center ceiling fixtures in kitchen, laundry, bed- 
rooms, closets, hall and dinette, bracket fixtures in 
bathroom and at exterior doors, and plug-in outlets 
at convenient locations. Other items such as a 
doorbell and a kitchen ventilator are also supplied. 

Distribution and Erection 

Prenco sells its homes throughout the Pacific 
coast states and in the export market directly to 
the ultimate purchaser and through developers, 
realtors, dealers, and distributors. After the founda- 
tion or basement has been completed by Prenco or 
its agents only eighty man hours are required at 
the site to complete the house for occupancy. The 
house sections are loaded upon truck trailers and 
transported directly from the factory to the site, 
where they are unloaded into position on the 
foundation and within a day or two made ready for 
the owner. Under normal conditions, Prenco can 
deliver a complete house within thirty days after 
an order is placed. At present, however, from 
sixty to ninety days are required for delivery. 


Prenco homes sell for $4,250, $4,950, $5,850, 
and $6,500 complete, depending upon the size and 
style. These prices include all equipment except a 
refrigerator and range. The basic floor plans show 
no fireplace but Prenco will construct one, if you 
desire, as optional equipment at an additional price. 
A carport is included with each home. 



Produced by 


Raleigh, North Carolina 

The "Stuart" a small two bedroom house selling for less than $2,500 f.o.b. factory. 
Additional costs which would have to be paid by the purchaser are estimated to 
amount to about $3,400, making the total cost of this house on a completely erected 
and equipped basis about $5,900. 

The unfinished house pictured above illustrates the "Lee" two bedroom model 
with breezeway and garage. This unit sells for $3,300 f.o.b. Raleigh, N. C, and 
an estimated $3,650 is necessary for transporting, erecting, equipping, decorating and 
otherwise preparing it for occupancy. Thus the cost of this completed Raleigh 
Mastercraft Home would be about $7,000 exclusive of land. 

Facts and Figures About Mastercraft Homes 

is an affiliate of the Contracting & Service 
Corp. of New York, which has been engaged for 
more than twenty years in such heavy construction 
work as the building of subways and industrial 
buildings. During the war they constructed approx- 
imately one thousand houses which were trans- 
ported to England in a knocked down state and 
quickly erected there to replace bombed dwell- 
ings. Upon the termination of Lend-Lease the 
North Carolina plant was converted to the pro- 
duction of prefabricated homes for domestic dis- 

IS umber of Models 

The company produces six different models of 
Mastercraft homes, ranging from the "Longstreet," 
having overall dimensions of 28' 5" by 24' 5" and 
providing a living room, two bedrooms, small din- 
ette, kitchen, bath, and utility room, to the 
"Davis," measuring 40' 7" by 3 2' 5" and providing 
a large living room and connecting dinette, kitch- 
en and utility room, three bedrooms and bath. All 
of these homes are planned with first floor utility 
rooms for heating and laundry equipment, making 
a basement unnecessary for this purpose. If a base- 
ment is desired, however, the plans may be slightly 
modified to locate a basement stairway in the space 
which would otherwise serve as a utility room. The 
plans provide for the addition of further rooms 
as the need develops and of such optional features 
as porches, breezeways, and attached garages. 

Method of Distribution 

The Raleigh Company will distribute its homes 
in all states east of the Mississippi River through 
exclusive distributors having specific territories. 
Under normal conditions delivery can be made by 
the company within one week's time after the 
order has been received, but under present condi- 
tions about three weeks are required before the 
house is ready for delivery. The houses are trans- 
ported by freight car or truck from the factory to 
the building site, and the expense of such trans- 
portation is to be borne by the purchaser. 

Materials Supplied by the Company 

The Raleigh Company supplies about 75 per 
cent of the materials which go into the completed 
shell of the house. Exterior walls consist of factory 
built panels 4 feet by 8 feet constructed of stand- 

ard size studs covered with ¥1 inch waterproof 
gyplap sheathing. The bevel siding which is to be 
placed over the sheathing is not applied at the fac- 
tory but shipped separately to be put on at the 
site. Double hung windows and doors complete 
with hardware and glass are built into these panels. 
The floors are pre-cut with 2 by 8 joists, sills, 
bridging, and plyscord subflooring supplied loose 
and field applied. All necessary sills and girders 
are furnished, and the lower framing members 
such as joists, sills, and girders are toxic treated for 
termite protection. The roof is formed into panels, 
4 feet wide and as long as the roof is high, which 
are made of 2 by 6 rafters covered with shiplap 
or plyscord sheathing. The company supplies heavy 
asphalt strip shingles in a variety of colors, galva- 
nized roofing nails, and Slaters felt, but these mate- 
rials must be put on at the site at the purchaser's 
expense. The gable ends are delivered complete 
with vertical wood siding and louvers attached at 
the factory. All exterior and interior trim are fur- 
nished loose and must be applied by the purchaser 
at the site. 

Additional Items the Purchaser Must Furnish 

Since the Raleigh Company supplies only the 
materials for the basic shell of the house, the pros- 
pective purchaser must furnish the following items: 

a. Site preparation and all foundation costs 

b. Erection costs and field labor for applying 

shingles, siding and trim 

c. Interior wallboard or plaster material and its 


d. Chimney or fireplace, terrace and other 

masonry items 

e. Finish flooring in all principal rooms and 

linoleum for kitchen and bath 

f. All heating, plumbing, sanitary, electrical 

work and fixtures 

g. Kitchen cabinets, medicine cabinets, etc. 

h. All painting, varnishing and wallpapering 

Total Cost 

The prices charged by the Raleigh Company for 
the house shell f.o.b. the North Carolina factory 
range from $2,200 for the two bedroom size to 
$3,000 for the largest three bedroom house. The 
additional items which the house purchaser must 
furnish would at least equal the price paid for the 
house shell. Thus the ultimate cost of these homes 
is at least double the Raleigh price, or between 
$4,500 and $7,500. 



Hi ^jsB Bp 


Produced by 


Akron 16, Ohio 

Above: Wingfoot Home styled in the southwest motif. 

Above; The living room, though small, is attractive and well planned. The large front 
window and two rear windows make the room airy and bright. 

Below; Larger bedroom of two bedroom house showing double bed, vanity, chest and 
closet. Floor plan of the two bedroom house shows location of all built-in units. 

Facts and Figures About Wingfoot Homes 

THE WINGFOOT HOME, produced by a 
subsidiary of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 
is a unique type of prefabricated house. It was 
developed and first produced in 1942 at a pilot 
plant located at Litchfield Park, Arizona, and pro- 
duction at plants in Arizona and Ohio has now 
been perfected to the point where the company 
can build fifty thousand units per year if it can get 
the raw materials and equipment. The house is en- 
tirely built and assembled at the factory in a size 
which is small enough to permit delivery by truck 
over any highway in the country. On the truck it 
appears to be little more than a gigantic box, but 
upon arrival at the site the Wingfoot blossoms 
forth, with telescoping wings that pull out like 
drawers and a small entrance porch, into an at- 
tractive Lilliputian bungalow. 

Delivered Completely Erected and Equipped 

When you purchase a Wingfoot home you can 
rest assured that there will be no multitude of extra 
expenses to run up the ultimate cost. The house is 
delivered with the bathroom completely supplied 
with shower bath, toilet, lavatory and medicine 
cabinet. The kitchen cabinets, sink, gas range and 
ice refrigerator are furnished and installed. A 
twenty-gallon automatic hot water heater and a 
radiant type gas heater are in their proper locations 
when the house arrives. Even the bedroom furni- 
ture is built-in to achieve compactness and to affect 
further savings. The plumbing is connected; the 
wiring and fixtures are installed. All the site work 
required is the placing of a block foundation, the 
depositing of the house on this foundation and the 
connection of the utility systems to the public 
water, gas and power lines. Within an hour after 
the house is delivered you can relax in the quiet 
sanctity of your new home. 

Number of Models Offered 

Goodyear offers two different models of the 
Wingfoot home. One is a two bedroom house 
with a built-in double bed, vanity, chest of draw- 
ers, and closet in one bedroom, and a built-in 
double bunk, chest, shelves, and closet in the 
other bedroom. The other model has only one 
bedroom, which provides a built-in double bed, 
vanity, two chests of drawers and two closets. With 
the exception of these differences the two models 
are exactly alike. The overall dimensions are 26 
feet long by 15 feet wide in the bedroom area 
and 8 feet wide over the rest of the house. 

Priced to be Available to a New Market 

It has been noted that a large part of our popu- 
lation has been denied the opportunity to live in 
a new home of their own because their income 
precluded payment of more than $20 to $35 per 
month for housing. The Wingfoot home, which 
will sell for about $2,500, affords small families in 
these lower income groups with the possibility of 
purchasing a home for payments of no more than 
$20 to $30 per month. While the house is cer- 
tainly not spacious, it provides the opportunity to 
be the original occupants of quarters in which the 
equipment is new and modern rather than worn 
and obsolete. 

Suitable for a Wide Variety of Uses 

These homes have widespread usefulness to 
many outside the lower income groups. Many 
older couples, whose children are grown and away 
from home, will seek smaller houses which require 
a minimum of upkeep and care but still affords the 
satisfaction of independent living. Two or three 
working girls can pool their resources and purchase 
and operate this little house for less than they 
would pay for furnished rooms. A Wingfoot unit 
would afford a room for entertainment, cooking 
facilities, and separate bedrooms for two girls, or 
joint rooms for as many as four. 

Furthermore, these homes should have a sub- 
stantial resale value. Because they are small and 
can be easily and cheaply moved these houses can 
be purchased and transported to a new location to 
serve as a guest house, a cottage at the beach or a 
retreat in the mountains or woods. 

Materials Used in Wingfoot Construction 

Exterior walls are made of heavy-grade plywood, 
and interior walls are of Masonite or plywood. Both 
interior and exterior walls are painted and various 
color combinations are available. The floors are 
five-ply plywood covered with attractive linoleum. 
The roofing is of Pioneer Flintkote or equivalent 
two-ply asbestos white top. The entire house is 
carefully insulated with Kimsul insulation. Win- 
dow and door screens and window blinds are fur- 
nished. Lighting fixtures include a porch light, 
overhead light above kitchen sink, bathroom light 
and fixtures in both bedrooms. Six double outlets 
are also provided. 


Directory of Prefabricators 

Allen Unit Construction, Inc. 

Box 1415, Birmingham, Ala. 
H. E. Concrete Homes, 1504 N. 17th St., 

Birmingham, Ala. 
T. C. King Co., Anniston, Ala. 

Cabana Co., 75 W. Portland, 

Phoenix, Ariz. 
Prefabricated Homes, Inc., P.O. Box 1112, 

Phoenix, Ariz. 
Southwestern Sash & Door Co., Phoenix, Ariz. 
Williams Construction & Engineering Co., P.O. 

Box 344, Phoenix, Ariz. 

Black Lumber Co., Corning, Ark. 
Bralei Homes, Inc., P.O. Box 109, North Little 
Rock, Ark. 

Modern Building Manufacturers, Pine Bluff, Ark. 

Barr Lumber Co., Santa Anna, Calif. 
Bates Prefabricated Structures, Burlingame, Calif. 
Blackstone Homes, 11707 Wicks Street, 

Roscoe, Calif. 
Brown & Johnson, Los Angeles, Calif. 
California Homes, 1132 M St., 

Sanger, Calif. 
California Pre-Fab. Corp., 5301 Valley Blvd., 

Los Angeles, Calif. 
Custom Built Homes, 601 E. Broadway, Long 

Beach, Calif. 
Drycemble Corp., South Gate, Calif. 
F. J. Early Co., 369 Pine Street, San Francisco, 


Camel, Inc., 174 Carroll St., 
Sunnyvale, Calif. 

Haddock Engineers, 1 29 W. 2nd St., 
Los Angeles, Calif. 

Hamill & Jones, 3029 Exposition Blvd., Los An- 
geles, Calif. 

Hayes Econocrete Corp., 112 W. Ninth St., Los 

Angeles, Calif. 
Hayward Lumber Co., P.O. Box 7029, East Los 

Angeles, Calif. 
Kaiser Community Homes, 875 Subway Terminal 

Bldg., Los Angeles, Calif. 
Kashner-Bender, Inc., 704 Spring St., 

Los Angeles, Calif. 
Latisteel, Inc., 3272 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, 

Calif. • 
C. H. Lehman, Shields & Garfield Ave., 

Fresno, Calif. 
Lincoln Lumber Co., Oakland, Calif. 
Claude Lindsay, Inc., 824 Taroval St., 

San Francisco, Calif. 

Metal Homes Co., 4041 Goodwin Ave., 
Los Angeles, Calif. 

Normac, Inc., 1007 S. Grand Ave., 
Los Angeles, Calif. 

Oliver-Loughland Co., 230 E. Vardugo Ave., 
Burbank, Calif. 

Ply-W r el Industries, 4905 Tidewater Ave., Oak- 
land, Calif. 

Plywood Structures, Inc., 6307 Wilshire Blvd., 

Los Angeles, Calif. 
Pre-Bilt Homes Co., 2901 S. San Pedro St., 

Los Angeles, Calif. 
Precision Homes Co., Stockton, Calif. 
Prefab Mfg. Co., 4085 E. Sheila St., 

Los Angeles, Calif. 
Production Line Structures, 941 North La Cienga 

Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 
Quality Homes, 1022 S. Robertson Blvd., Los 

Angeles, Calif. 
Rand Construction Co., 6239 Wilshire Blvd., 

Los Angeles, Calif. 
Security Finance & Building Co., 6513 Hollywood 

Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 
Standard Demountable Homes, Los Angeles, Calif, 
Stewart & Bennet, National City, Calif. 
Soule Steel Co., 1750 Army St., San Francisco, 



Construction Products Co., 6000 W. 13th Ave., 

Denver 15, Colo. 
Durabilt Homes Co., Denver, Colo. 

City Lumber Co., 75 Third Street, Bridgeport, 

Prefab Construction Co., Dayville, Conn. 

Allen Unit Construction, Inc., 3237 M St., N. W., 

Washington, D. O* 
Byrne Company, 2607 Conn. Ave., N. W., 

Washington, D. C. 
Hudson Supply Co., 1727 Penna Ave., N. W., 

Washington, D. C. 
United States Housing Co., 1629 K Street, N.W., 

Washington, D. C. 

J. W. Campbell, Inc., Palatka, Fla. 
Dooley's Basin & Dry Dock, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, 

Flury & Crouch, Inc., W. Palm Beach, Fla. 
Maurice Harrison Co., Hialeah, Fla. 
Tec-Bilt Homes, 9535 N. E. Second Ave., 
Miami 38, Fla. 

Better Living, Inc., 339 W. Peachtree, N.E., 
Atlanta, Ga. 


Georgia Consolidated Contracting Co., Ellaville, 

Georgia Housing Co., Macon, Ga. 
Ira Hardin Co., Atlanta, Ga. 
Knox Corporation, Thomson, Ga. 
U.S. Homes, Inc., Marietta, Ga, 


Best Construction & Fabricating Co., 

630 W. Lake St., Peoria, 111. 
Darrow Co., Polo, 111. 

Dorr Associates, 505 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 

Economy Portable Housing Co., West Chicago, 

G. B. H. Way Homes, Inc., Walnut, 111. 
General Houses, Inc., Chicago Daily News Bldg., 

Chicago, 111. 
Green's Ready-Built Homes, Rockford, 111. 
Home Corporation of America, DeKalb, 111. 
Home-Ola Corporation, 9 South Clinton Street, 

Chicago, 111. 
Illinois Lumber Mfg. Co., Cairo, 111. 
Liberty Homes Corp., 1 North LaSalle Street, 

Chicago, 111. 
Lustron Corp., 1401 So. 55th Court, 

Cicero, 111. 
Quality Homes Inc., Joliet, 111. 
R. W. Revis, Newman, 111. 
Riverdale Millwork Co., 341 E. 136th St., 

Chicago, 111. 
Rock Island Lumber Co., Rock Island, 111. 
Shappert Engineering Co., Belvidere, 111. 
Structures, Inc, 130 N. Wells St., Chicago, 111. 
Wright Co., 9317 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, 




Barlow & Williams, Indianapolis, Ind. 

Continental Homes, Inc., Crawfordsville, Ind. 

General Industries, 3033 Wayne Trace, 
Ft. Wayne, Ind. 

Gunnison Homes, Inc., New Albany, Ind. 

Indiana Demountable Housing, Inc., 907 E. Mich- 
igan Ave., Indianapolis, Ind. 

Modern Builders, Inc., Evansville, Ind. 

Monroe Corp., 4500 Ralston Ave., 

Indianapolis, Ind. 
National Homes Corp., Lafayette, Ind. 
New Century Homes, Inc., Clinton, Ind. 
Pre-Fab Industries, 1601 S. Main Street, 

South Bend, Ind. 


Bennett Box Co., Clinton, Iowa 
General Timber Service, Dubuque, Iowa 
Gordon Van Tine Co., Des Moines, Iowa 

Fuller Houses, Inc., Wichita, Kans. 

American Fabricators, Inc., 500 E. Main St., 

Louisville, Ky. 
Cumberland Homes, Middlesboro, Ky. 
General Plywood Corp., 3131 W. Market St., 

Louisville, Ky. 


Crawford Co., Baton Rouge, La. 
Precision Cut Homes Corp., 2337 Tulane Ave., 
New Orleans, La. 


Camden Shipbuilding Co., Camden, Me. 
Eastern Homes, Inc., Portland, Me. 

Atlantic Mill & Lumber Co., Baltimore, Md. 
Drycemble Houses, Inc., Baltimore, Md. 
Maryland Modern Housing Corp., P.O. Box 7345, 

Halethorpe, Baltimore, Md. 
New Century Homes, Bethesda, Md. 
Samuel Pistorio, Carroll Station, Baltimore, Md. 
Prefabricators, Inc. 3437 S. Hanover St., 

Baltimore, Md. 
Tovell Construction Co., 403 W. Monument 

Street, Baltimore, Md. 

Anchorage Homes, Inc., Westfield, Mass. 
Bell Building Co., 172 Union St., 
Worcester, Mass. 


E. F. Hodgson Co., 1110 Commonwealth Ave., 

Boston, Mass. 
Prebilt Co., Revere, Mass. 
Resco Homes, 49 Pearl Ave., Winthrop, Mass. 
Wolsey Co., 1 37 Green St., Maiden, Mass. 

Aladdin Co, Bay City, Mich. 
Builders Mfg. Co, 11711 E. Eight Mile Road, 

East Detroit, Mich. 
Cadillac Millwork, 18901 Grand River, 

Detroit 23, Mich. 
Currier Lumber Co, 17507 Van Dyke Ave, 

Detroit 5, Mich. 
Defoe Shipbuilding Corp, Homes Div, Bay City, 


Eddy Shipbuilding Corp, Bay City, Mich. 
Evans Products Co, 15310 Fullerton Ave, 

Detroit, Mich. 
Field Detroit Co, 651 W. Baltimore Street, 

Detroit, Mich. 
Jaeger Homes Mfg. Co, 14300 Promenade Ave, 

Detroit, Mich. 
Lewis Mfg. Co, Bay City, Mich. 
Lumber Fabricators, Inc., 728 Fisher Bldg, 

Detroit, Mich. 
Nichols & Cox Lumber Co, Grand Rapids, Mich. 
Palace Corp, Flint, Mich. 
Reid Building Co, Birmingham, Mich. 
Riedel Lumber Co, Marlette, Mich. 
Saco Mfg. Co, Milan, Mich. 
Stout Homes, Inc., Stevenson Bldg, Detroit, 


Strathmoor Co, 14000 Grand River Ave, 
Detroit, Mich. 



Canton Bros, Watson, Minn. 

Capp Mfg. Co, 1143 Dupont Ave, 
Minneapolis, Minn. 

Corn-Fit Builders, Waterville, Minn. 

Foss Lumber Co, Moorhead, Minn. 

Page & Hill Co, 1017 Plymouth Bldg, Minne- 
apolis, Minn. 

Rilco Laminated Products, Inc., First National 
Bank Bldg, St. Paul, Minn. 

Green Lumber Co, Laurel, Miss. 


Butler Mfg. Co, Kansas City, Mo. 
Fabricated Building Corp. 308 So. Jefferson St., 

Springfield, Mo. 
Fox Bros Mfg. Co, 2717 Sidney St, 

St. Louis, Mo. 
Home Building Corp, Sedalia, Mo. 

Economy Housing Co, Wahoo, Nebr. 
General Timber Service, Inc., P.O. Box 1632, 
Omaha, Nebr. 


Green Hill Lumber Co, Plainfield, N. J. 
Moyer Co, Linwood, N. J. 
Par-Lock Appliers, 1150 Southard St, 

Trenton, N. J. 
Plainfield Lumber & Supply Co, Plainfield, N. J. 
Porete Mfg. Co, North Arlington, N. J. 
Precision Built Homes Corp, Trenton, N. J. 
Stanway Prefabricated Buildings Co, Montclair, 


Weil-Built Mfg. Co, Somerville, N. J. 
Weyerhaeuser Timber Co, Eastern Dist. Yards, 

Newark 1, N. J. 
Winner Mfg. Co, Inc., Box 399, Trenton, N. J. 


Adirondack Log Cabin Co., 14} E. 45th Street, 

New York, N. Y. 
American Houses, Inc., 570 Lexington Ave., 

New York, N. Y. 
American Lumber Products Corp., 

103 Park Avenue, New York, N. Y. 
Bennett Lumber Corp., North Tonawanda, N. Y. 
Bent Steel Co., 43-24 37th Street, Long Island 

City, N. Y. 

Construction Fabricators, Inc., 445 Porter Ave., 

Brooklyn,.N. Y. 
Crouch & Beahan Co., 99 Dewey Ave., 

Rochester, N. Y. 
Dade Brothers, Inc., Mineola, Long Island, N. Y. 
Factory Built Homes, Inc., McDonough, N. Y. 
Factory Built Mfg. Co., 420 Lexington Ave., 

New York, N. Y. 
General Fabricating Co., 33 W. 42nd Street, 

New York, N. Y. 
General Panel Corp., 103 Park Avenue, New York, 

N. Y. 

Johnson Quality Homes, Inc., 270 41st Street, 

Brooklyn, N. Y. 
M. B. Kolb Co., 250 W. 57th Street, New York, 

N. Y. 

Metz Homes, Inc., Hicksville, Long Island, N. Y. 
Mifflinburg Body Works, Prebilt Homes Div., 

200 Madison Ave., New York, N. Y. 
Northern Prefabricating Corp., 12 Ridge St., 

Glen Falls, N. Y. 
PHC-Peerless Housing Co., 300 Fourth Ave., 

New York, N. Y. 
Shelter Industries, Inc., 630 Fifth Ave., New York, 

N. Y, 

Takapart Products Co., Freeport, Long Island, 
N. Y. 

Charlotte Lumber & Mfg. Co., Charlotte, N. C. 
Raleigh Prefabricated Homes, Inc., P.O. Box 627, 
Raleigh, N. C. 


Arlington Homes Mfg. Co., 1300 W. 3rd St., 
Cleveland 13, Ohio 

Bruscino Builders, 17309 Madison Ave., 

Cleveland, Ohio 
Cosy Cottages, Inc., 1895 So. High St., 

Columbus, Ohio 
Forest City Material Co., 17903 St. Clair Ave., 

Cleveland, Ohio 
General Building Units, Dayton, Ohio 
Hilz Homes Co., Toronto, Ohio 
Industrial Supply Co., Grafton, Ohio 
Martin Steel Products Co., 1111 W. Longview 

Ave., Mansfield, Ohio 
Midwest Fabricating Co., Box 334, Mansfield, 


Pease Woodwork Co., Blue Rock & Turrill Streets, 

Cincinnati, Ohio 
Riderwood Lumber Processing Co., 301 Ingalis 

Bldg., Cincinnati, Ohio 
Sanford, Inc., Avon Lake, Ohio 
Skill-Craft Homes, Inc., i860 E. Market St., 

Akron, Ohio 
Steelcraft Mfg. Co., 16 E. 72nd Street, Cincinnati, 


Sturdy-Bilt Homes, Inc., 618-20 Madison Ave., 

Toledo, Ohio 
Toledo Factory Built Homes, 415 Madison Ave., 

Toledo, Ohio 
Wingfoot Homes, Inc., 1144 E. Market Street, 

Akron, Ohio 



y lei 


W. P. Atkinson Lumber Co., Oklahoma City, 

Southern Mill & Mfg. Co., P.O. Box 1087, 
Tulsa, Okla. 

Keith Brown Building Supply, Salem, Ore. 
M. D. Hicklin, Oswego, Ore. 
Horsley Structures, Inc., Eugene, Oreg. 
Prefabrication Engineering Co., American Bank 

Building, Portland, Oreg. 
Timber Structures, Inc., P.O. Box 3782, Portland, 





Adequate Housing, Inc., Fidelity-Philadelphia 
Bldg., Philadelphia, Pa. 

Admiral Homes, Inc., West Newton, Pa. 

Allied Housing Associates, Langhorne, Pa. 

Harmon Corp., 1431 Land Title Bldg., 
Philadelphia 10, Pa. 

Johnson Co., Sharon, Pa. 

P & K Woodcrafting Co., Canonsburg, Pa. 

Pan-L-Homes Co., 305 Magee Bldg., 
Pittsburgh, Pa. 

Penna Dri-Bilt Housing Co., Emporia, Pa. 

Precision Built Homes, 301 Green Ridge, 
Scranton, Pa. 

Rieger Co., 4634 Parrish St., Philadelphia, Pa. 

Sunnybrook, Inc., Glenside, Pa. 

Vacuum Concrete, 4210 Samson Street, Philadel- 
phia, Pa. 

Welcome Homes, Inc., West Chester, Pa. 
West Penn Sand & Gravel Co., 12 McCandless 
Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 

Conway Homes, Inc., Conway, S. C. 



American Prefabricators, Garland, Texas 

Capital Prefabricators, Inc., 6616 Dallas Highway, 

Austin, Texas 
General Housing Co., 2121 N. Beckley, Dallas, 


Houston Ready-Cut House Co., 3601 Polk Ave., 

Houston, Texas 
Klinger Mfg. Co., San Antonio, Texas 
R. G. LeTourneau, Inc., Longview, Texas 
Meyers Construction Co., Raymondville, Texas 
Panhandle American Houses, Amarillo, Texas 
Southwest American Houses, Houston, Texas 
Texas Prefabricated Housing Co., Dallas 9, Texas 


Anderson Lumber Co., Ogden, Utah 

Solar Homes Co., Brattleboro, Vt. 

Lincoln Industries, Inc., Marion, Va. 
Pre-Fab Industries Corp., Richmond, Va. 

Minter Homes Corp., Huntington, W. Va. 
Scott Lumber Co., 1112 Chapline Street, Wheel- 
ing, W. Va. 

Brady Construction Co., 707 Spokane Street, 

Seattle, Wash. 
Buffelen Lbr. & Mfg. Co., Lincoln Ave. & Taylor 

Way, Tacoma, Wash. 
Dunham Const. Co., 1110 Baily St., 

Seattle, Wash. 
Farwest Sales & Engineering, 6420 S. Tacoma 

Way, Tacoma, Wash. 
Matheny & Bacon, 1710 Fourth Ave., So., 

Seattle, Wash. 
Modelow Co., 3400— 16th W., Seattle, Wash. 
North Gaines Lumber Co., Auburn, Wash. 
Precision Builders, 3116 S. Oakes St., 

Tacoma, Wash. 
Preco Corp., Bellingham, Wash. 
Prefabricated Products Co., 4000 Iowa, Seattle 6, 


Rowe & Thompson, 9004 So. 19th St., 

Tacoma, Wash. 
South Bend Fabricating, South Bend, Wash. 


Standard Prefabricating Corp., 5400 Marginal Western Home Builders, 615 Alaska Ave., Seattle, 

Way, Seattle, Wash. Wash. 
Tacoma Lumber Fabricating Co., P.O. Box 1133, 

Tacoma, Wash. 


Check List 

Does the Price Include these Materials and Equipment? 


Excavating & Grading 

Foundation or Basement 

Waterproofing Basement 

Drainage Tile Around Base- 
ment Wall 

Foundation Vents 

Basement Windows & Frames 

Sill and Anchor Bolts 

Exterior Walls 

Studs, Plates & Sheathing 


Vapor Seal 

Building Paper Between 
Sheathing and Exterior 
Surface Material 

Siding, Shingles, Stucco or 
Masonry Veneer 

Interior Walls 

Lath & Plaster or Wallboard 
Woodwork Trim 
Varnish & Stain 
Wallpaper or Paint 


Joists and Bridging 


Furnished Furnished 



Hardwood Finish Flooring 

Linoleum for Kitchen and 

Building Paper Between 
Subflooring & Finished 

Roof and Ceiling 

Rafters, Ridges, Collar 
Beams, etc. 


Slater's Felt 

Roofing Shingles, Built-up 
Metal, Slate 

Ceiling Joists, Bridging 
Headers, Plates & Stripping 

Lath & Plaster or Wallboard 
Doors and Windows 

Exterior & Interior Doors 
Door Frames & Trim 
Window Sash with Glass 
Frames and Balances 
Window and Door Screens 


Hardware: hinges, lock sets, 
window fixtures, screen 
hangers, etc. 

Not Additiona 
Furnished Cost 



Sheet Metal 

Door & Window Flashing 
Valleys & Ridges 
Termite Shield 


Stairs and Hand Rail 

Second Floor or Attic 

Cabinets and Interior Detail 

Kitchen Cabinets 


Broom Closet 


Shelves in Closets 

Clothes Hooks & Hanger 

Built-in Chests 

Towel Rods, Paper Holders, 
Door Stops, etc. 

Kitchen Sink 
Garbage Disposal 




Laundry Trays 


Not Additional 
Furnished Cost 

Laundry Machine 
W ater Heater 

Water Softener & Condi- 

Exterior Hose Bibs 

Warm Air 


Hot Water 

Oil Storage Tank (wheje oil 
burner is employed ) 

Electric Wiring 

Overhead Fixtures — Kitch- 
en, Utility Room, Base- 
ment, Dining Room, Bath 

Wall Lights 

Duplex Receptacles 


Door Bell 

Radio Outlet 

Telephone Outlet 

Porches and Terraces 



Seeding or Sodding 

Walks and Drives 


B. Structural Factors to be Considered 

Load Capacity: The use of undersize or 
inferior materials for studs, joists, or raft- 
ers may result in sagging floors and roofs 
and cracked walls. The builder should 
guarantee that the structure is heavy 
enough to sustain a load of 40 pounds 
per square foot on the first floor, 30 
pounds on the second floor, and 20 
pounds on pitched roofs. In northern 
climates where annual snowfall exceeds 
60 inches the roof structure should be 
heavy enough to support 30 pounds per 
square foot. 

Foundation: However carefully the su- 
perstructure of a house may be framed, 
an inadequate foundation will result in 
uneven settling and cracking of plaster 
or bathroom tile. Foundation walls and 
piers must be large enough to spread the 
weight over the supporting subsoil and 
deep enough to extend below the frost 
line and the effects of winter freezes and 
thaws. Eight inches is usually the mini- 
mum width for foundation walls, and 
these should be supported by concrete 
footings measuring from 14 inches to 20 
inches across. Basement walls should be 
waterproofed and drainage tile laid 
around the basement footing in order to 
prevent the accumulation of soil water 
along the wall surface. 

Protection Against Termites: In order to 
protect a frame house against termites a 
metal shield, extending 4 or 5 inches on 
either side of the foundation, should be 
placed between the foundation and the 
wooden superstructure. When the house 
is built without a basement, air vents 
should be installed in the foundation 
walls to prevent dead air pockets beneath 
the frame construction. 

Wall Framing and Exterior Surface: In 
order to compensate for the framing 
members which must be omitted to pro 
vide a door or window opening, double 
studs should be used at either side and 
double 2x4 headers placed across the top 
of such openings. Where plywood is em- 
ployed as the exterior surface material 



and is exposed to the weather, it should 
be bonded with waterproof, resinous 
glue and meet the requirements of Com- 
mercial Standard CS45-40 of the Na- 
tional Bureau of Standards. 

Chimneys: All chimneys and flues should 
have masonry foundations and should 
extend at least 2 feet above flat roofs and 
one foot above the highest ridge of a 
pitched roof. Fire clay flue linings should 
be built into all chimneys, the walls of 
which are less than 8 inches thick. 

Insulation: In order to have effective in- 
sulation the ceilings and floors of a 
house, as well as its exterior walls, must 
be fully insulated and windows and doors 
must be weatherstripped. Homes with 
very large window areas should be sup- 
plied with double pane windows having 
an insulating air space between the two 
glass surfaces. ■ 

Electrical Wiring: Both the materials and 
the workmanship employed in wiring a 
house should comply with the National 
Electrical Code, Several municipalities 
have passed ordinances requiring observ- 
ance of this code, and fire insurance com- 
panies mav refuse to issue policies cover- 
ing premises which are not properly 

Plumbing: Materials and installation 
should be in compliance with the 
"Plumbing Manual" (BMS 66) issued 
by the National Bureau of Standards in 

Materials and Structure which meet 
F.H.A. Requirements: The F.H.A. will 
not insure a loan on a new house unless 
the materials and methods of construc- 
tion meet minimum requirements estab- 
lished by this federal agency. Since most 
prefabricators have submitted their 
houses to F.H.A. for its approval, a pros- 
pective purchaser should ascertain from 
his regional F.H.A. office whether the 
prefabricated house of his choice meets 
its material and structural requirements. 






728.8 B-3079 

. Prefabricated houses